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Obituary: Patricia Mary Cronin

June 4, 1928 – January 25, 2012

Patricia Mary Cronin, a former Democratic State Committeewoman from the Town of North Hempstead, founding president of the Plandome Manor Woman’s Club, interior designer and Plandome Road business owner for over 30 years, died on Jan. 25 of complications from a neurological degenerative condition. She was 83.

She was born Patricia Mary Egan on June 4, 1928 in Astoria, Queens. Patricia attended St. John’s University, graduating in 1950. While attending St. John’s she met her husband of 61 years, Matthew J. Cronin. The couple’s partnership was an inspiration to their family. From the start they were each other’s best friends, always laughing and enjoying each other’s company.

The Cronins—known to friends and family as “Pat and Matt”—lived in Plandome Manor for over 50 years. They raised four children there: Lynn Cronin (Howard Fine) of Manhattan, Brad Cronin (Judy) of Manhasset, Laureen Harris (Jim) of Manhasset, and Valerie Wiblishauser (Michael) of Dix Hills.

During the 1960s Patricia and her husband were heavily involved in Democratic politics. In 1962 Patricia and Matt were at Madison Square Garden when Marilyn Monroe famously sang Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy. Hanging in their den is a telegram Patricia received from Robert Kennedy stating he intended to run for President of the United States.

Patricia went back to school in the late 1960s attending the New York School of Interior Design. Soon after, she opened the interior design firm Distinctive Interiors, Ltd., on Park Avenue in Manhasset, then moved to larger office space on Plandome Road.

In 1979 she opened the retail shop Distinctive Wallcoverings, Ltd. Her daughter Valerie joined her in 1983. Distinctive Wallcoverings was a fixture on Plandome Road for almost 30 years. The shop focused on all aspects of interior design. Patricia had a natural flair for color and design with an understated elegance.

Patricia and her husband spent leisure time in their vacation homes in East Hampton and the Florida Keys. She also loved to travel, see Broadway plays, and go to the movies.

In her later years, the greatest joys of her life were her 10 grandchildren. She adored them. She was a with-it grandmother, who drove a Corvette and constantly exuded positive energy.

In addition to her husband and children Patricia is survived by her grandchildren: Sean Cronin, Cara Cronin, Kevin Cronin, Drew Cronin-Fine, Lee Cronin-Fine, Ryan Harris, Taylor Harris, Dylan Harris, Kyle Wiblishauser and Tyler Wiblishauser.

 Services for Patricia were held at St. Peter’s in Port Washington on Jan. 28, 2012.  Patricia was buried at the Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury.