My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep … for both are infinite.
- William Shakespeare
On 2 November 2012, Nicholas M. Kronberger was laid to rest while we, his family and friends, remembered this fine and decent man and all he contributed to this world – as he planned; the day was a life celebration. Smiles and tears were the order of the day … so many fond remembrances of the man I called Dad Kronberger since first meeting him when I was a twenty something Philadelphia college student. As I stood in the Church watching his son and daughter-in-law, my best friends [who I consider REAL family] Mark and Susan Kronberger and the rest of his large lovely family mourn and celebrate Nick’s life, my thoughts were of a life REALLY well lived and my heart was filled with gratitude for having known such a special man for all these many years. Shakespeare describes perfectly how Nick saw his life – that is one of boundless bounty and infinite love and so it will always be for those of us he gracefully included in his life journey.
Like my own beloved Father, Abraham, Nick was a believer in possibilities – no resting on laurels – a definite get up and go REAL American spirit was the tone of these men’s lives. Family, community, charities, religion, business, politics, travel, athletics/sports and more were all doable – nothing too much to handle nor not worth the effort for Nick Kronberger and Abe Solomon. My dear husband, Chester Michael has been stunned and impressed at how these men fully embraced all aspects of life – telling me that he had not been lucky enough to have grown up with being privy to the same. Unlike many, these men did it all with a moral code that demanded honesty and fairness for others. Honorable is a word that definitely applies to Dad K.’s whole life – yes he did it his way but never at the expense of others. Men like Nick are to be emulated and I fear sadly not easily imitated.
Among the many good deeds and blessings that Nick Kronberger bestowed on this world is the amazing family of six children, many grand and great grandchildren that he and his lovely wife of sixty-six years, Freda, created. What a wonderful legacy for Dad and Mom Kronberger – they raised six loving and productive children, who in turn parented well their own prodigy and thus the Kronberger dynasty grew to include many in-law families and we accessory “adopted” extended family members. Lucky are all of us who knew and spent time with Nick – his kindness, intelligence and affection a plus in all our lives. This man gave a life template for us all to learn from and be guided by – certainly a life worth taking ones instruction from.
A WWII Navy man, Nick, who was part of what Tom Brokaw defined in his book as “the greatest generation”, found his life partner and lady love in Chicago. Nick and his beautiful Freda set off on a life journey determined to be people involved in and defined by their Catholic faith but never narrow nor small minded – an inclusive and broad minded attitude that allowed those of us of different religions [mine Jewish] to feel welcomed and respected. This couple REALLY lived their Christian faith – they “walked the walk” as the saying goes. Both Dad and Mom Kronberger admired and were equally respected and thought affectionately of by my own now deceased parents, Abraham and Mary Solomon. Since meeting their amazing son, Mark when he was eighteen and I twenty-one at our alma mater Temple University our families have shared many celebrations and likewise times of sorrow. Having been widowed myself in 2000 and remarried in 2003, both my husbands came to love the Kronbergers … my husband Chester Michael Eliasz-Solomon and I visiting Nick a few years ago in hospital with plants and goodies in tow and more recently having the pleasure of sharing with Nick and Freida a 25th anniversary dinner we gave for Mark and his wonderful wife [my “sister” & Kronberger dear daughter-in-law] Susan. There are far too many occasions to list here but always great company – interesting and fun to be with – Dad and Mom K. are the type of people one always looked forward to being with no matter the time or place. Classy and smart all the way describes the senior Kronbergers. My life made richer by each meeting and get together with this darling couple.
Dad Kronberger would tease me about my liberal politics and such – always with good humor and an affection tone. Once when dear Mark and Susan were again “saving” me during a particular difficult situation after my husband David passed away, I decided to write letters to both Susan’s parents, the sweet Sam and Dot Scavillo and Mark’s, the Kronbergers to express my gratitude for this wonderful couple they all had raised so well. Having been unsure if I mailed correctly, I resent my letter and after expressing appreciation for my sentiments, clever Nick asked was he to distribute the multiple copies? You see – Dad K. was brilliantly offering support and humor combined that I very much needed to ease my then troubling and somewhat daunting burden. I am saddened that my own babies will now not have the gift of what I planned to be a surrogate grandfather Nick but I will, as with others of his fine character, use the biography of this man to guide them. I do not say good-bye but thank you G-d for the memories I take through eternity of Nicholas M. Kronberger – not gone but always present in the minds and hearts of those of us blessed to have known this REALLY good man!
Note: If you care to, I would appreciate and know you will feel honored to learn about and donate in remembrance of my dear friend, Nicholas M. Kronberger, to an organization he helped found, the worthwhile Center for Families and Relationships . I sincerely thank you!
P.S. Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Kronberger for giving me a REALLY best friend & “brother” hero Mark Kronberger … good job Dad & Mom K. – I remain forever in your debt for there are times that my life would not be possible without my Markie & his wonderful wife, my protective Susie!!!