Joyce Ava Cronin, of O’Fallon, Missouri, passed peacefully into heaven on Saturday, September 24, 2022, at the age of 94.
Joyce was born in Leeper, Missouri on September 5, 1928, the daughter of the late Arthur Wallace and Ruby Opal Beard. She attended Central High School, where she was the captain of the roller-skating team and was a graduate of the Rubicam Business College where she mastered short-hand and typing. Joyce married the love of her life, Joseph Martin Cronin on November 23, 1946. Joyce is survived by her 3 children, Susan Cronin Sullivan of Dallas, TX, Joseph Michael (Elaine) Cronin of St. Paul, MO, and Janice Marie Cronin of Manchester, CT; 4 grandchildren, Daniel Joseph Sullivan, Joseph Michael (Hailey) Cronin, Molly Sue Cronin, and Neal Patrick Cronin; and 2 great-grandchildren, Joseph Mason and Madelyn Grace Cronin.
In the early years of her marriage, while her husband served in WWII, she was a member of the secretarial pool at Sears, Roebuck & Company in St. Louis. During the Korean Conflict, as a young mother, she joined her husband who was serving on the U.S. Navy Base in Placentia, Newfoundland. After base life ended, the couple returned to St. Louis and began to grow their family and their business.
In mid-life, Joyce worked alongside her beloved husband Joe, proud owner of the Western Auto Store in O’Fallon, from 1957 to 1988. Joyce handled all the accounting for the business, while raising her family, continuing her business education at St. Mary’s College, and volunteering on numerous social and civic committees. She was an active member of the O’Fallon community, including the Assumption Church Ladies Sodality and Quilting Club, VFW Ladies Auxiliary, Brownie & Girl Scout Troop Leader, and Assumption School PTA Board. She also sang a mean bass in the O’Fallon Chapter of the Sweet Adelines.
Joyce’s kitchen was a happy gathering place where many parties were hosted with good food, drink, and cheer. She was a devoted wife, loving mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt who enjoyed family time, Navy Seabee Reunions, all sorts of music, particularly Dixieland, and playing the piano and ukulele. She had many interests and was an expert at quilting, sewing, needlepoint, stained glass, and cooking for a big group. She loved her Pittsburgh Steelers, trips to New Orleans for Creole food, playing Gin Rummy, and a good naughty joke. During their retirement years, she loved her travels with Joe across the U.S. and to Hawaii and Ireland. She enjoyed daily Jack & Cokes and Sunday Bloody Mary’s, for medicinal purposes.
In her later years, after Joe’s passing in 2012, she closed up the family homestead on Laura Hill Road and doted on her grandchildren and extended family. She loved the holidays when the “Whole Tribe” would visit. When advancing age and minor health issues arose, she moved to the Twin Oaks Community at Heritage Point in Wentzville. Joyce loved her friends and neighbors at Twin Oaks. On behalf of the entire Cronin Family, a big ‘Thank You’ goes out to the entire team at Heritage Point. They made Joyce’s final years safe and happy.
Joyce was a constant source of love, support, guidance, fun, and friendship to her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and the many nieces, nephews, friends, and neighbors who adored her. Her witty and loving husband Joe “Mr. Wonderful,” fondly called her “my bride,” his “Ava Joyce,” and his “Sparkle Plenty.” She was a beautiful, caring, smart, and funny woman, way ahead of her time, and always the life of the party. She was one-of-a-kind and made of tough stuff and a big heart. She will never be forgotten by the wonderful life she lived and the family traditions and lasting legacies she left behind.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Missouri Veterans Home.
Baue Funeral Homes is currently following CDC recommendations regarding mask and social distancing policies.