James L. "Jim" Cronk, age 74, of Almora, passed Tuesday, August 7, 2012, surrounded by his loving family at Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria, Minnesota.
Memorial service will be held 12 noon, Saturday, August 11, 2012, at Elmo Lutheran Church, Elmo Township, rural Parkers Prairie, with Rev. Del Moen officiating. Burial will take place at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Almora with full military honors accorded by Parkers Prairie American Legion #219, and the Minnesota Honor Guard.
Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at the church.
James Leslie Cronk was born May 19, 1938, to Ai and Helen (Hutchings) Cronk in Monticello, Minnesota. He grew up on a farm in Washington County, Minnesota. Following high school, he proudly served in the United States Marine Corps. While stationed in southern California, he met the love of his life, Gretha, an immigrant from the Netherlands. They were happily married for 53 years. Jim was a man of many talents. He worked at West Publishing in the Twin Cities while his family was young. Then he went back to school to become a Farrier, a trade he later taught to others. In 1976, he moved his family to Almora, Minnesota where he farmed and continued to shoe horses. He was a master craftsman when it came to welding farm equipment. Jim was President of the Oak Ridge Cemetery Association in Almora, a member of the Parkers Prairie American Legion Post #219, a lifetime member of the Masonic Lodge, founder of the St. Croix Horse and Carriage Society and a member of the NRA. He loved to work with his horses and mules as well as collect horse drawn equipment. There wasn't an animal he couldn't break to ride or drive.
A beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle, he is survived by his wife, Gretha; children: Hubert (Remy) Cronk of Cambridge, Nancy (Jeff) Schroeder of New Richmond, Wisconsin, Cora (Jeff) Hecht of Beverly Hills, Florida, Deanna (Greg) McDonald of Clancy, Montana and Barry (Janine) Cronk of Almora; grandchildren, Heather, Kimberlee, Emily, Colin, Christina, Benjamin and Maggie; great-granddaughter, Katryn; sister, Elerine "Honey" Kogler of Stillwater; brother, Ai (Joan) Cronk of Woodville, Wisconsin; as well as many brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Myrtle Erickson and Geraldine "Babe" Sward and brother, Bob Cronk.
Memorials are preferred to the Oak Ridge Cemetery Association, Parkers Prairie American Legion Post #219, or Charity of Donor's Choice.
Elmo Lutheran Church is found north of Parkers Prairie, the easiest way to get there from Parkers Prairie is to follow Highway 29 North until you reach County Highway 136, approx., three miles north of Parkers and turn left (west). Turn left on your first opportunity, which is Elmo Road, (550th Avenue) a dirt road which runs parallel to Highway 29, follow for just about a half a mile and the church is on your left.