Hampton Falls, NH — J. Leo Cronin, Jr., passed on June 2, 2013. A longtime resident of North Hampton, Leo had recently moved to RiverWoods in Exeter. His first wife, Theresa A.Cronin, passed in 1957 and his second wife, Dorothy W. Cronin, passed in 2000.
Born in Haverhill on May 5, 1924, he was the son of the late J. Leo and Charlotte R. Cronin. He was a graduate of Cranwell Preparatory School in Lenox, Mass., where he excelled in sports. He then attended Norwich Military College before being inducted into the Army in 1944.
Leo served in the Pacific Theater during World War II, and then in Japan during the occupation. Following the war, Leo graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s in Maryland. He was recalled to duty, serving as a company Commander during the Korean conflict. Although he never acknowledged his heroic actions, Leo sustained serious injuries while leading his men in heavy hand to hand combat. He was awarded numerous decorations, including the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Silver Star, and a Purple Heart.
Leo worked for Macy's in New York City for several years before returning to the Boston area. He spent many productive and happy years as an executive at Northeast Petroleum before retiring in 1989.
Leo was a longtime trustee and Chairman of the Board at St. Joseph's College in Maine. He was a generous benefactor and gave freely to St. Joseph's and Mt. St. Mary's, as well as Merrimack College, where his father had served as Chairman of the Board. Active in the Republican Party in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Leo championed conservative causes until his death.
Leo is survived by his son, Michael Randall Cronin; his beloved granddaughter, Caitlin T. Cronin; and his nephews and nieces, Earl V. Brown, Jr., Charlotte Randall Brown, William Cronin Brown, and Ellen W. “Heidi” Hughes.