Friday, February 1, 2019
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and drinks will be served.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Full of life and always with a smile to brighten someone’s day, Lyndon Cronen was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He loved to surround himself with loved ones as well as ensure that everyone was made to feel comfortable in his presence. Lyndon was well known throughout the community for being generous beyond measure. Known to many as Mr. Otsego, his warm personality will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
The 1940s were characterized by WWII. In the year Lyndon was born, the Pentagon, considered to be the world’s largest office building was completed. Due to shortages, America experienced its first rationing of canned meats, butter, cheese, and cooking oil. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was created and The Glenn Miller Orchestra provided the most popular music of the time. Francis and Marion (Jones) Cronen, welcomed him home on September 14, 1943, in Otsego, Michigan. His birth brought much hope and happiness to his loving parents over the years.
Growing up, Lyndon was the son of a business entrepreneur and co-owner of a Ford dealership, who later was elected Mayor of Otsego and a wonderful homemaker. Sadly, his mother passed away when he was the tender age of fourteen and his father later remarried, Gerene, who was a loving stepmother to Lyndon. Athletic by nature, he played both tennis and basketball as a teen. He lived a typical childhood of the times and made many lasting friendships in his small hometown before graduating with the Class of 1962 from Otsego High School. College-bound, Lyndon transferred to Aquinas College to play basketball after spending his first year at Western Michigan University.
Aquinas not only proved to be a good fit for his success in the sports realm it also received credit for the meeting of the woman of his dreams, Carmen Ramirez! Introduced by his good buddy, Dan Nulty’s sister, Terri, the two of them hit it off. Within six months, Carmen needed to return to Colombia, so they became engaged. Lyndon finished up his schooling at WMU earning a degree in business and accepted a teaching position with Plainwell Schools. Before Carmen returned to the United States two years later, they were married by proxy on September 17, 1966. Together they welcomed into their hearts and home three wonderful children; Maria, Monique, and Bryan. Lyndon took great pride in his role as a father and instilled in each of them the values of hard work, integrity, honesty and an abundant acceptance of others. He was very involved in their lives and never missed an opportunity to attend a sporting event or celebrate their every success along the way.
A steadfast provider, Lyndon remained a math instructor with Plainwell Schools for nine years working during the summer months selling insurance. He also enjoyed officiating basketball for the school system for a remarkable twenty years! By 1977, however, his heart was pulling him in another direction where he could work his way into self-employment with First Agency. By 1982, his dream came true and he bought out the insurance business where he remained until he welcomed his own son, Bryan to the team in 1994. Lyndon stayed on at First Agency in a consulting/mentoring role for many years and witnessed the business grow to what it is today.
Lyndon, however never fully retired. He loved being a part of the community and helping others along the way. With Bryan in control, he did take advantage of picking up more tee times and developing a true passion for the game of golf. A regular at the Kalamazoo Country Club, Lyndon enjoyed many social opportunities over the years. He also ventured more frequently to his most treasured retreat, his cabin in the north woods. With no electricity or running water, he spent many hunting seasons here in the outdoors with his special friends from the “Baldy Hill Gun Club”. Each year he treated two of his grandchildren on a special trip to the cabin to spot deer and share his great love of nature, feeding birds, and wild turkeys. Each and every one of them looked forward to their time together and nothing brought more joy to Lyndon’s heart!
He and Carmen were blessed with the good fortune of traveling extensively over the years, visiting her family back in Colombia as well as spending many winters down in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He became a Catholic in 1995 and visiting Medjugorje to see the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This was most certainly a love of his! Spending time with the entire family together was very important to him. He carefully planned several family vacations that everyone, especially the grandchildren always looked forward to. Lyndon also had a passion for buying and selling antique cars and enjoyed playing in the stock market. He was enamored by the NCAA Final Four tournament, attending more than fifteen of them in his lifetime. He loved the college championship atmosphere and created a mock university called “Otsego State University after his beloved hometown for friends to have fun with at the Final Four. Lyndon was the official director and ordered buttons, hats and clothing gear for the entire “team” to wear during the Final Four
Beyond his remarkable concern for the well being of his own growing family, Lyndon selflessly extended himself to others. When he saw that someone was in need in any way, he immediately went the extra mile to help them without saying a word. He was also very involved in the community. He established the Annual 3-point fundraiser for WMU basketball & supported the Mike Gary Athletic fund with student endowment scholarships over the years. He proudly served on the Borgess Foundation Board as well as the Otsego Library Board. Each and every chance he had, he gave back and whatever he put his heart and mind to, he gave his all! Described as HONEST, faithful, giving, as well as extraordinarily supportive, a true role model, there is no doubt that Lyndon’s rich legacy will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by the countless lives he has touched over the years.
Lyndon L. Cronen, age 75, of Kalamazoo, Michigan died peacefully at his home, surrounded by his family on Sunday, January 27, 2019. Lyndon was preceded in death by his parents; step-mother, Gerene Cronen and step-brother, Jimmy Cronen. Surviving are his wife of fifty-two years, Carmen Cronen; three children: Maria (Luis) Suarez, Monique Stevens and Bryan (Daniella) Cronen; and eleven grandchildren: Tatiana, Vanessa, Jessica, Alex, Emma, Danny, Maria, Isabella, Sofia, Bianca, and Estella. Visit with family and friends where food and drinks will be served on Friday from 5-8PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Saturday 11 AM at St. Catherine of Siena Parish (1150 W. Centre Ave.) followed by a luncheon in the church hall. Burial will follow at St. Margaret’s Cemetery in Otsego. Please visit Lyndon’s personal web page at www.betzlerfuneralhome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Kairos Dwelling or West Michigan Cancer Center.