Stelita M. Cronin
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5.19.42 to 8.22.19
Born in Aracatuba within Sao Paulo, Brazil Stelita Cronin lived an amazingly adventurous and fulfilling life and she will be missed by her family, friends as well as strangers on the street who were likely swept up in her enthusiastic spirit for life! Her humble beginnings included being raised with great obstacles as she overcame a negligent mother who was raised at the foothills of the Amazon River; and a father who was killed by banditos in front of a church. She later found solace in her teenage years within a Catholic convent where she studied endlessly, absorbed by books of history, religion and language. She also had the support of her Aunt Elizena who routinely sheltered abandoned children from the streets of Sao Paulo. Compassion learned from her Aunt and rigorous study allowed her to later excel in Nursing. Never intending to to migrate to the U.S. she was encouraged to apply for a Au Pair position and was readily accepted. Hired by the family that general managed the Boston Celtics she was thrown into a strange and unfamiliar world where neighbors in Newton were not always welcoming to the girl with an accent. Upon her arrival to Boston she learned of the assassination of the her new President JFK “boom, boom...dead?” She inquired incredulously?
Despite the events upon her arrival she quickly adjusted and found friends such as a gift shop owner in downtown Boston who eventually would become her husband of over fifty years! John J Cronin known as “Jack” would introduce Stellita to ice-cream in the winter, skiing in New Hampshire and a new cuisine that did not include her staples of rice, beans, farofa and Couve. After settling in with Jack she had two beautiful children including a well adjusted, intelligent, humorous, handsome and humble son, Kenneth (ken) “Monstreno”. Content with family life she spent much of her life assisting others such as new arrivals to the US needing food, shelter and emotional support to navigate U.S. life. Her natural willingness to help others also led to a career of over 35 years almost entirely with Newton Wellesley Hospital. She worked primarily nights allowing her to care for her children Christine and Kenneth during the day. She cared for various individuals at NWH doing a myriad of jobs and was never laid-off despite enormous negligent cut-backs by Partners Health.
Her later years proved just as active as she routinely made elaborate cakes for almost any occasion for friends, organizations, weddings and even a dog birthday. She found passion in history, studying the night sky with the Museum of Science astronomy club and even skydiving in Pepperell, MA. After several tandem jumps she solo jumped and her chute didn’t open but she floated safely into the middle of the Connecticut River after calmly pulling her reserve chute and landed on her feet, uninjured and not defeated. Her inspirations Mother Teresa & Cesaria Evora influenced her to persevere and maintain a can-do attitude and endure such setbacks that life offers. This immense energy eventually led her to tackle the 2,200 mile trek of the entire Appalachian Trail. Know as “Stardust” her trail name, she made many lifelong friends along the way and endured many hardships and successes that could be described as representative of her time here on earth. But much of her life was spent on the quiet end of Hawthorne Avenue in Auburndale where she cooked, loved and lived well. She will be deeply missed by Jack, Ken, Christine and her Grandchildren Emily & Lily but we take comfort in knowing that her presence was meaningful and rich as she touched so many lives. Thank you Stelita for a life well lived aka “little Star"
Donations in her memory may be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation at MMRF Mass General Hospital, Development Office 125 Nashua St., Suite #5510 Boston, MA 02114.