David and Doris (Swallow) Cron met in kindergarten in Worcester. Their 81-year love story ended last week when Doris died Friday, May 24 and David died 28 hours later on Saturday, May 25, both at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. They had been married for 66 years.
Dave was born on Jan. 16, 1927 in Worcester to Carl and Ethel Cron. Doris was born to Milly and Basil Swallow on May 14, 1927, also in Worcester. They eloped when they were 19. Dave started his first career with Johnson Steel & Wire in Worcester. He eventually became national sales manager for Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pa., after stints in Cleveland and Indianapolis. Along the way, he and Doris had two sons, Carl R (CR) and Brent David. Dave took early retirement in 1980 and they moved to their home on Martha’s Vineyard. His retirement didn’t last long; he soon became involved in selling real estate. Doris joined him, managing his office, Island Real Estate, in Vineyard Haven. They worked together until earlier this year.
In his youth, Dave was quite an athlete. He played football in high school, winning a scholarship to Georgetown University. He was a boxer in the Marine Corps and turned down an opportunity to fight Rocky Marciano early in his career — probably a smart move! He also tried out for the Red Sox. Doris was a secretary for the Overhead Door Company prior to their marriage.
Dave and Doris’s family was the center of their lives. Dave instilled in his sons and grandchildren a strong work ethic. He didn’t understand why anyone needed a vacation when there was work to be done. And there was always work to be done.
He was a wonderful friend to many, both on and off-Island. His other passion was Pittsburgh sports. He was a Steelers season ticket holder for decades and was rooting for the Penguins in his last days.
Doris taught us all that family was everything. She loved music, dancing, convertibles and dogs, not necessarily in that order. She loved to see her favorite singers in concert, most recently traveling to Mohegan Sun to see Michael Bublé with her granddaughter Sam.
Dave and Doris are survived by their sons, CR and his wife, Shelly, of Springfield, Va., and their children, Carleigh Rae Cron, Matt Griel, Nicole Griel-Reskovac and her husband, Aaron Reskovac, and their son, Shawn Reskovac; and Brent and his wife, Laura, of Vineyard Haven and their children, Amanda (Wink) Cron, and Samantha Cron and her husband, Alex Maloney, and their children, Kya Ann Maloney and Mason David Cron. They also leave their close friends at Island Real Estate.
David was predeceased by his brothers, Robert and Donald. Doris is survived by her brother, Philip Swallow of Norton.
Dave was a member of the Barnacle Club, the American Legion and the PA Club.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Vineyard Committee on Hunger, P.O. Box 4685, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, and Angel Flight New England, Lawrence Municipal Airport, 592 Sutton street, North Andover, MA 01845.
A celebration of their lives will be held on Saturday, June 22 at 2 p.m. at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. All are welcome to come and share a memory. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs.