NEW HARTFORD, CT – Jean (Higgins) Cronauer, 78, of Red Clover Road, died peacefully on Saturday, August 21, 2021, at the Rose Monahan Hospice Residence in Worcester, after a short illness. She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Siegfried J. Cronauer of New Hartford, CT; two children, Andrew J. Cronauer and his wife Amanda of Dudley, and Emily Jean Cronauer of New Hartford, CT; her brother, Gregory Higgins and his wife Nancy of Tigard, OR; her sister, Lynne Ameling and her husband William of Vashon, WA; her step-father, C. William Klotz of Cuyahoga Falls, OH; three grandchildren, Olivia K. Cronauer, Jeremy J. Cronauer, and Matilda M. Cronauer, all of Dudley; and many nephews and nieces. She was born in Akron, OH, daughter of the late Bernard G. Higgins and E. Loretta (Goff) Klotz, and lived Ohio, Michigan, and Washington, before moving to New Hartford in 1989. She graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Akron, OH, in 1959, and received her bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College in Detroit, MI, in 1964.
Mrs. Cronauer was the executive director of the Northwest Conservation District in Connecticut for many years, retiring in 2013. Previously she taught elementary school in Detroit, taught at Norwalk High School in Connecticut, and was a real estate agent with Merrill Lynch. She stayed home to raise her children when they were young, and she participated in their activities from scouting to dance. She served on the New Hartford Conservation Commission and was a member and former chairperson of the Open Space Commission.
Mrs. Cronauer was an avid gardener and loved birdwatching, spending time in nature, and conservation. She was certified as a master gardener and cared for perennial and flower gardens at her home. Her life revolved around service and justice. She would always help other people and tried to make the world a more just place. Her grandchildren were the focus of her life. She had a fondness for all children who she always thought of as representing the future.
A funeral will be held on Friday, August 27, 2021, from Paradis-Givner Funeral Home, 357 Main St., Oxford, followed by a Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 22 Dudley Hill Road, Dudley. Burial will follow at West Ridge Cemetery in Charlton. Calling hours are Thursday, August 26, 2021, from 4-7 p.m. at the funeral home. A celebration of her life will be held on Friday, September 10, 2021, from 4-7 p.m. at Brodie Park, 580 West Hill Rd., New Hartford, CT.
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