Karen Kelley (Lund)
I knew Pat Cronk from the 6th to the 8th grade at Aptos School. A friendlier boy you'd never find. Our parents became friends and so we saw each other occasionally away from school as well. He and his older brother, Mike, had the best manners. I remember my mom commenting on that. One day when I was 12, I came in from climbing a 35 foot cypress tree across the street with the Hamilton kids. I was dirty, scratched and looked like a typical tom-boy. I walked into the living room and there were Pat and his family and Mr. Cronk, Pat and Mike all stood up when I entered. I was so embarrassed and quickly changed, combed my hair and tried to look dignified.
Pat was quite the athlete. He played all sports and we would have games on Friday with Corralitos, Freedom, Salsipuedes, and Aromas schools. He was one of the stars, always competing with everything he had. During the summers he would play Little League and then Pony League in Capitola and a bunch of us would get rides to those games and stay most of the day. Pat had a very different style of running. You would know it was him. . . he would sort of lunge as he hit his stride. Never had seen anyone run like that before. And could he dance ! Great dancer from the 6th grade on. He and his big brother were close and I'm sure they practiced together !! It was always fun to dance with Pat. The girls were crazy about him.
Sadly, we lost touch in high school. We didn't have any classes together, ever, and that school was so big we rarely passed in the halls or the quad. I do remember when we lost Curt MacDonald as Freshman that Pat met my bus at WHS to tell a bunch of us from Aptos. He along with several of Curt's buddies were pall bearers. It was so sad to see those boys have to grow up so fast that day.
I won't forget Pat. . . I know that my adolescent year diaries contained his name many times. He was a sweetheart.
Paul Flint (Mora High School)
Thank you, Karen, for sharing your memories of Pat Cronk. His brother, Mike, worked at Safeway in Aptos in those days.
I played Little League with Pat. When not playing in the field, he was a pitcher like me. In the 5th grade, Pat, Curtis, and I hung out together a lot when I was at Aptos School. It was a sad day when Curtis hitch-hiking to school, caught a fatal ride that day in the fall of 1961. Pat Cronk and I were pallbearers for Curtis' funeral. I lost touch with Pat after that as I went on to Mora and he at Watsonville High.
Karen, thank you so much for you touching tribute to Pat. I went to Corralitos and competed against Pat in baseball, basketball and track. We played Pony League and high school baseball. Pat was a very good athlete and a friend. I will miss him......
IT Is so difficult to lose a classmate ,especially some one from the Class of 65 . Those who grew up with Pat feel a greater loss . Rest In Peace Pat & condolences & prayers to the Cronk Family .
Susan Wright (Vowell)
Karen thanks so much for the beautiful reminders of Pat, I also fondly remember him from elementary and high school. So sad to lose those we remember fondly from the Class of ’65.
I met Pat our freshman year. I realized immediately he was a guy that people liked! I played football with him and we became good friends. That friendship would last through high school graduation. Pat was a guy who would make you smile and really enjoyed people and life. He was a really good athlete and it was fun to play ball with him. I'm sorry I didn't get to stay in touch with Pat after high school as we had become really good friends. It's one of those things that we regret later in life. I thank you Pat for your friendship and the good times we shared!
Pat used to come by Fred Sugidono's house with his tan '40 Ford with a 283 Chevy in it when we were in high school. The rest of the car was completely stock. He fit right in with all of us- Raymond, Fred, Steve, Kenny, Larry and a bunch of others. We had a lot of fun together.
Later on, I went to a few parties that he and Mike had up the hill a little from the pizza barbecue place near Highway One and Freedom Blvd. The brown house has a big flat deck, veranda type thing on top of the garage that made one feel that you were on top of the world. It is still there. I still think about him when I go by there.
It would have been wonderful to see him again.