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Obituary: Cronin, Michael J.

CRONIN, Michael J. Michael J. Cronin, a longtime Spokane attorney passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family after fighting the good fight against a disabling back condition the past several years. He was lovingly cared for as always by his wife Mary Alice, the still beautiful nurse he was fortunate enough to marry in 1951. He is survived by Mary Alice and their six children and respective spouses Tim and Barb Cronin, Sheila and Kevin Masteller, Debbie and Jerry Schmidt, Steve and Meg Cronin, Kevin and Patty Cronin, Carol and John Manix, 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Betty Mosely. Born February 9, 1928 in Spokane, Mike was the oldest son of Julianne and Tim Cronin who previously immigrated from County Cork, Ireland through Ellis Island, N.Y.. His parents preceded him in death as did his brothers the Rev. Timothy Francis Cronin, S.J. and Neil Cronin. In his early years Mike, who then was affectionately called Bud, attended St. Francis Xavier Grade School and ruled over many ball games at Hayes Park in his Gordon Avenue neighborhood. He graduated from Gonzaga High School in 1946. An outstanding student, Mike played all sports and excelled as a halfback on the Bill Frazier coached Bullpup winning football teams. He was Senior Class President and a Student Body Officer and a member of the Knights of Leash service group and participated in the Drama and Glee Clubs. After high school Mike enlisted and served honorably in the Army. He then attended Gonzaga University and graduated from Gonzaga School of Law in 1953. He worked as an Assistant Washington State Attorney General in Olympia and Seattle. He returned to Spokane when he and his high school classmate (Congressman) Tom Foley were asked to open the local State Attorney General office. In 1957 Mike entered private practice in the Keith, Winston and Repsold law office and was a partner when it later merged and became known by its present name, Winston and Cashatt. He was a member of the Washington State and Spokane County Bar Associations for over 50 years. He practiced many areas of law in state and federal courts with an emphasis on workers compensation. He will be remembered most fondly as a lawyer by the individuals and families he readily assisted with compassion and encouragement. Mike was an active parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church where he volunteered many years on various committees and boards. He was a member of the Spokane Council of the Knights of Columbus and held its highest honor and office as Grand Knight. A strong supporter of education for all, Mike was especially involved as an academic and athletic booster for Gonzaga Prep and Gonzaga University. For years he made arrangements for speakers on a variety of subjects at the monthly Gonzaga “Lunch Bunch” meetings. Spokane was always home, but Mike’s Irish roots ran deep. He and Mary Alice and their dear friends Leo and Mary Driscoll took a special trip through Ireland connecting with family and heritage only to be topped off on the way home with a stop in South Bend to watch their beloved Fighting Irish play a football game. Although not much of a swimmer or boater growing up, Mike provided that opportunity to his children who inherited their love of the lake from their mother. The family ventured on several camping trips with marauding bears at Priest Lake and the heat at Lake Osoyoos and survived adventurous outings with the Mosely cousins at Lake Coeur d’Alene. There of course was the truly memorable vacation with the six kids in a station wagon pulling a rented trailer roundtrip to Disneyland. But the best times remain those congregating with Mary Alice’s fun loving Burger family at their Loon Lake place providing life long memories and the joy of watching and experiencing children and grandchildren growing up swimming, fishing, waterskiing and smiling. Mike instilled his toughness when necessary and his kindness constantly in those who knew him a little or a lot. He would cheerfully sing the lyrics of Irish songs often working them into conversations and greetings. Mike’s Irish eyes truly did smile especially when sharing stories, laughter, and sometimes innocent mischief, with friends and family. He will be missed by all and forgotten by none. The family would like to thank Dr. Michael Parisot for his always available and compassionate medical treatment these past several years, Providence VNA and the in home care providers especially Dena and Dawn. A Rosary Vigil will be held at Hennessey’s on Sunday September 29,2013 at 7 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1104 W. Heroy, Spokane, WA, on Monday September 30, 2013 at 11 a.m. A reception will follow immediately at the adjacent parish hall. A private burial will occur later. In lieu of flowers please send donations to St. Francis of Assisi Parish, the Gonzaga Prep Fr. John Hurley Fair Share Fund or your favorite program that assists others. Please visit Mike’s online memorial to leave a message at