Retired State Supreme Court Justice Frank J. Kronenberg of Wilson and North Port, Fla., died Tuesday (Jan. 19, 1999) in Quality Health Care Center, North Port, after a lengthy illness. He was 84.
Originally a Republican, Kronenberg was elected a justice of the Eighth Judicial District on the Democratic ticket in 1962 after the GOP turned down his bid for an endorsement. After winning re-election in 1976, he retired Jan. 1, 1979, and divided his time between his home on Lake Road in Wilson and Florida.
He began his judicial career in 1953, when Gov. Thomas E. Dewey named him Niagara County Court judge to fill a vacancy left when Judge John S. Marsh was named to the State Supreme Court.
Popular and hard-working, Kronenberg was elected to a full six-year term later in 1953 and was re-elected in 1959. As a county judge, his duties also included presiding over Surrogate's Court and Childrens' Court.
A native of Lockport, Kronenberg attended Canisius College and the University of Alabama. After graduating from the University of Buffalo Law School, he returned to Lockport to practice law with Edward N. Mills.
He served seven years in the Army during and after World War II as a trial judge advocate and an assistant defense counsel, attaining the rank of captain.
In 1948, he was named Niagara County attorney and was chairman of the Niagara County Republican Party in the early 1950s. He served briefly as associate counsel for the state Highway Finance Commission before being named county judge in 1953.
After retirement, he told friends that one of his ambitions was to open a school for para-legals. However, that goal was never realized.
Among his many activities, he was a past president of the New York State County Judges Association and a former member of the board of directors of the National Association for Better Radio and Television.
He was a member of the New York State Community Mental Health Board and a former chairman of the Juvenile Delinquency Institute at Niagara University.
He also was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Olcott and the Catholic War Veterans and was an honorary life member of Lockport Lodge 41, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
Active also in organizations concerned with child welfare and aid to the disabled, he received numerous awards and citations.
His first wife, Grace Dietz Kronenberg, died in 1978.
Survivors include his wife, the former Lena Grace New, and a sister, Elinor of Lockport.
A memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be scheduled. Burial will be in Wrights Corners Cemetery.