Michael P. Cronk was born on January 29, 1930 (Wallace, ID) and passed away September 23, 2020. He grew up around Worley, ID and graduated from high school there in 1948. He married his high school sweetheart and served in the U.S. Navy as an aircraft mechanic. After returning home, the couple lived in Worley and Bellgrove, ID. Mike farmed and loved being outdoors hunting and fishing. He worked for various logging and equipment companies and then moved to Superior, MT, as logging superintendent with Diamond International.
With two partners from Superior, Mike started an underground contracting company, Casper and Magera, in Kirkland, WA. The company grew to complete sewer systems for small towns across WA, ID, OR and MT. In 1976 he sold out their interest and continued to do smaller jobs independently to allow for travel south during the winter.
Mike worked for ACME Concrete, volunteered heavily with the Inland Empire Wildlife Council (delivering two bears to Spokane’s Walk in the Wild Zoo) and the Spokane Valley Food Bank.
Mike always made time to go hunting with friends and family, raised and trained bird dogs, and hosted numerous family meals. He loved to travel on short or long trips, including Pacific Northwest lakes, Calgary Stampede, Alaska, the east coast, Salton Sea, San Francisco, San Diego, Saugus, New Mexico, Texas and Newfoundland. From their Apache Junction, AZ home they could golf, swim, swap meet and bounce down to Mexico anytime with family and friends.
Following his beloved wife’s death, he continued to travel with his family and friends including the St. Lawrence Seaway, Panama Canal, Western Caribbean, and Mexico. He was intent on going to “the ends of the earth” which included Iceland, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk (Northwest Territories), and Churchhill (Ontario, Canada, to view the polar bears).
If you knew Mike, you know there were all the stories: farming, mining, construction, logging, heavy equipment, family members’ comings and goings and hundreds of adventures via old roads. He experienced and enjoyed motor racing and raising corn, squash and tomatoes. Mike chaperoned delighted visitors on tours of the mountains, Hell’s Canyon and the farm. As a veteran of Korea, Mike was able to participate in an Honor Flight trip to Washington D.C.
In later years, Mike was known for his barn board creations: potting sheds, wishing wells, benches, wagons, and birdhouses.
Around Good Sam, Mike could be seen hanging a picture, supervising the garden, building a holiday prop, making life easier for the pond turtles, arranging morning coffee chats, instigating political chatter, listening to an exciting football game or car race, and just shooting the breeze on a warm afternoon.
The family regularly joined Mike at Denny’s for his favorite meal – breakfast. He loved his family deeply and rarely missed an invitation to any family event. He was a genuine friend to all who knew him, and he could rival any historical accounting that may be held in the local museums. He was a Granger, a rancher and a landlord. Mike could be seen most often with a rolled up, long sleeved shirt, jeans, wool socks and comfortable loafers. Thinking about everything he packed into his busy life is amazing.
Mike was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Lou (Allman) Cronk, his parents Forrest and Genevieve Cronk, and Step mother Ikey Cronk. He is survived by son Jay and wife Sue; grandson Brandon, wife Melanie and son Finley; grandson Tyler and wife Katelyn; sisters Midge Braman and Gerry Drechsel, numerous nieces, nephews, step family, and dedicated friends.
Thank you to the many who befriended Mike, enjoyed his vast knowledge, his love of family, God’s creatures and the wonders of this world. We hope you will consider remembrances of him to the Salvation Army, Fairview Cemetery (Rockford) or Good Samaritan Society. Please follow this website for the date of Mike’s Celebration of Life as Covid -19 has interfered with immediate plans.
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