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Esther Cronk

June 2, 1924 - January 12, 2017
Canton, MI



Sunday, January 15, 2017
2:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Canton, West of Sheldon
45100 Warren Rd.
Canton, MI 48187
(734) 453-3008

Rosary 7:00 pm

Driving Directions


Monday, January 16, 2017
10:30 AM EST
St, John Neumann Catholic Church
44800 Warren Rd
Canton, MI 48187

Instate 10:00 am


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.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Michigan Humane Society

Life Story / Obituary


With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Esther Cronk lived a life of purpose while holding her loved ones near. She faced trials in her life, but she did so with both a quiet strength and a graceful courage. Deeply devoted to her family, Esther was blessed to share the majority of her life with her true love, and together they witnessed their family tree blossom to include loved ones who made them so very proud. Although she will be deeply missed, Esther leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.

It was great to be an American during the decade that we commonly recall as the Roaring Twenties. Ballroom dancing, jazz music, and motion pictures in both color and sound were among the latest trends that transformed the cultural fabric of our nation. The days were primarily prosperous ones, and America was leading the way for what was to come. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great celebration in the lives of Stanley and Louise Zabkiewicz as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the beauty of summer unfolded in Detroit, Michigan, in 1924. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Esther Louise drew her first breath on June 2nd. She was one of nine children as she was joined in the Zabkiewicz clan by her siblings, Ray, Gertie, Dan, Virginia, Harry, Sally, Fred, and Ron.

In many ways Esther was a young girl of her generation. Her family moved around rather frequently, but always within a small proximity within the Detroit area. To support their family, Esther’s father worked in construction sales while her mother was a busy homemaker, wife, and mother.

New and exciting changes were in store for Esther when she became better acquainted with a young man whose family lived up the street. His name was Harvey Cronk, and they became romantically involved as teens. They began dating, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Esther and Harvey were married in 1946 in the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church of Detroit after he returned from serving during WWII in the early forties. Their wedding day was forever one of the days that Esther treasured most, and together they spent 62 amazing years. Together they welcomed three children including Terry, Mick, and Pamela into their hearts and home. Because Harvey worked outside of the home, Esther was primarily able to focus her time and attention at home. In addition, pets were a regular part of the Cronk home, and their pets were like additional members of their family. At times Esther did work outside the home. She spent some time working with her sister, Virginia, catering meals for weddings, showers, and parties. She also worked as a lunchroom aide at Lathers Elementary School for a time.

Throughout her life, Esther experienced so many of the best things life has to offer. What made these things even better was sharing them with the ones she loved. Esther was thrilled when her family grew to include six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. When her children were little there were memorable vacations to Hubbard Lake when all nine people and a dog piled into the car. There were also plenty of family memories made at their house on Alvin Street for Christmas and Easter gatherings. On Labor Day weekend there were corn roasts as she loved cooking and baking for people. Esther loved spending time with her grandchildren and was so thrilled when great-grandchildren began arriving. She was a devout Catholic who went to mass every week, and she was one of the most generous people around. At home she enjoyed gardening, doing crossword puzzles and sewing, and she was a huge fan on the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings. In addition, she enjoyed the Lawrence Welk Show and murder mystery movies.

When reflecting on the life of Esther Cronk, words such as welcoming, kindhearted, and thoughtful come to mind, however, perhaps the word that paints the most accurate picture of her is selfless. Although she faced hard times, she was content in all things, and her genuine personality drew others near with ease. Forever reminding others of her love, there was no one who met Esther and left unchanged. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.

On January, 2008, they moved to Waltonwood Senior Living Apartments in Canton MI. Lovely view where they could let their dog Maggie out and she would try to chase the ducks back to the pond! They enjoyed a few months together before the Lord took dad home in October. Mom continued doing some cooking, sewing, crafting, bingo, and how she loved attending the monthly birthday parties for residents! Determined to keep going and make the best of her life, mom gave it her all. The staff loved her friendly, outgoing and positive personality. Some of the kitchen staff said she was the coolest lady around! She probably should've moved into assisted living a little sooner than the last month of her earthly life, but she wasn't having it and kept fighting the good fight. In her last days, she managed to keep that smile and love for all as strong as ever. We were able to say our goodbyes and share many laughs, hugs and deep affection of so many years. She will be missed greatly, but this isn't about us. It's about celebrating mom's wonderful life and rejoicing in her new Heavenly life at the right hand of God and all who have traveled before her. We love you sweet angel. Rest peacefully now, you so deserve it. Thank you for making the world a better place for your family, friends and all of those you encountered along the way.

Esther Louise Cronk, passed away January 12, 2017. Esther’s family includes her children, Terrance, Gary "Mick" (Deborah), Pamela Reitenga; grandchildren, Bradley, Lisa, Stephanie, Susan, Michael, Derek; great-grandchildren, Christian, Sara, Kevin, Alyssa, Mary, Brendan, Mckenna, Myles, Marie, Michael, and Alana; brother, Fred Zabkiewicz. Family will receive friends Sunday, 2-9 p.m., at the Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 45100 Warren Road (between Sheldon and Canton Center Rds) with a Rosary at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass Monday, 10:30 a.m., at St John Neumann Catholic Church. In state 10 am. Interment St. Hedwig Cemetery. In leiu of flowers donations to be made to Michigan Humane Society and St. Jude's Children's Hospital. To sign the online guestbook, please visit www.Turowskilifestory.com