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Nelson C. Cronin, sportsman, volunteer firefighter for 80 years

June 9, 1918 – April 23, 2017

Nelson C. “Gabby” Cronin, of Alden, one of the longest-serving volunteer firefighters in Western New York, died Sunday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, after a short illness. He was 98.

Born in Buffalo, one of seven children, he spent part of his boyhood in the historic Stone Farm House at 60 Hedley Place in the Hamlin Park neighborhood and graduated from Alden High School.

He went on to work in maintenance for the Alden schools for 35 years, retiring as superintendent of buildings and grounds in the 1980s.

Mr. Cronin was a member of the Alden Hook and Ladder Fire Company for 80 years and was captain in 1949-50.

He was honored with a proclamation by the Erie County Legislature earlier this year.

A member of the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs for 50 years, he was a director of its fish restocking program.

For his efforts, he was honored in 2003 with the group’s Dedicated Lifetime Service Award.

He also was a founding member and director of the Alden Rod and Gun Club.

He was inducted into the Western New York Softball Hall of Fame in 2001.

Survivors include a son, Dennis E.; four daughters, Patricia, Catherine Cyrulik, Sharon Huber and Mary Zydel; 10 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

A graveside service was held Thursday in Alden Evergreen Cemetery.

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