NAUGATUCK — Malvena “Mel” (Federonis) Cronen, 86, formerly of 15 Joseph Road in Naugatuck, died peacefully in Chatham, Mass., surrounded by the love of her family on July 30, 2016. She was married to her loving husband, Thomas J. Cronen, for 62 years until Thomas passed away in August 2012. Malvena was born in Naugatuck on July 14, 1930, the daughter of the late Anna (Kopcia) Federonis and John Federonis.
Malvena was a lifelong resident of Naugatuck and later Brewster and Chatham, Mass. She was a graduate of Naugatuck High School Class of 1948 and a standout member of the ladies basketball team. She was employed by Connecticut Light and Power, Berks Optical and the Connecticut Optical Company, retiring in 1990.
Malvena leaves three sons, Thomas D. Cronen of South Carolina, Steven J. Cronen of Brewster, Mass. and his wife Susan, whom Malvena affectionately referred to as “Sweet Sue,” and David J. Cronen and his wife Erin of Yarmouth Port, Mass.; also seven grandchildren, Jason Cronen of South Carolina, Patrick Cronen of Los Angeles, Calif., Meghan Cronen of Boston, Christopher Cronen of Chatham, Mass., and Max, Lizzy and Gabriel Cronen, all of Yarmouth Port, Mass.; and two step-grandchildren, Katherine Perkins of Chatham, Mass., and Colin Murtaugh of Lynn, Mass. Malvena was predeceased by six siblings. She also leaves several nieces and nephews and many dear friends.
Malvena, an avid singer, baker, hostess and homemaker, is known widely for her famous once-a-year cookie, the Christmas “Gingerbread Boy,” hand crafted and baked by the hundreds in December each year and distributed lovingly to family and friends. Some of Malvena’s most cherished memories are family roast beef and mashed potato dinners on Sunday afternoons and more recently, visits with her youngest grandchildren Max, Lizzy and Gabriel. All will miss Malvena’s gentle smile and good nature.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016 at 11 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 318 Church St., Naugatuck. Burial will follow in St. James Cemetery, Naugatuck. There are no calling hours and arrangements have been entrusted to the Buckmiller Thurston Mengacci Funeral Home, 82 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck.
To leave an online condolence, visit www.buckmillerthurstonmengacci.com.