Catherine "Jean" (Mulcahy) Cronin, 81, of Woburn passed away on Saturday, March 15 at the Sawtelle Hospice House in Reading surrounded by her loving family. She was the widow of John P. Cronin with whom she shared the blessing of seven children.
Jean was born in Winchester and was the daughter of the late William and Rose (O’Brien) Mulcahy. She was a graduate of Medford High School and Tufts University and completed many graduate level courses at The Boston University School of Social Work and Framingham State College. Jean was a Licensed Social Worker and earned a certificate in gerontology.
Jean dedicated her life to helping others. During and after raising seven children (two sets of twins) Jean worked as a Social Worker. She began her social work career in 1953 at The New England Baptist Hospital in Roxbury. In 1971 Jean began her 21 year employment at The New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Woburn where she worked as a Medical Social Worker.
After a short retirement, she began the second half of her social work career at The Cambridge Homes Retirement Center where she was the Admissions Coordinator, Marketing Assistant and Director of Social Services.
Jean also worked at The Leland Retirement Home in Waltham for 13 years and the Tidd Retirement Home in Woburn for seven years as a Social Worker and Consultant. Over the years, she also did geriatric work for The Belmont Council on Aging and the former Glendale Nursing Home in Woburn. Jean often shared with others that while all her responsibilities as a social worker were important, it was the relationships she developed that made her work so meaningful and rewarding.
Jean was a previous board member for The Minuteman Senior Services, The Woburn Council on Aging, The Tri-City Community Action Program and The Mystic Valley Council for Children. She was also an officer for The Woburn Chapter of the Massachusetts Association for Children with Learning Disabilities and an advisory committee member for the elementary schools around this topic.
Jean was a strong advocate for young people with special needs and worked many years advocating for the implementation of Chapter 766. She often wrote letters and made phone calls to elected officials to share her opinions and advocate for those in need. Several years ago Jean was recognized by local government officials for her tireless efforts advocating on behalf of those with disabilities.
Over the years Jean was an Assistant Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout Den Leader and often attended many of the activities and sporting events in which her children and grandchildren participated. She also volunteered at Lahey Clinic, the Mayor’s help line for the elderly, Catholic Charities, the Woburn voting polls and The Kennedy JR High School Library. Jean also enjoyed spending time with friends at The Woburn Senior Center.
In her free time Jean loved spending time with her family. She liked traveling and was recently able to enjoy a life-long dream trip to Ireland. Jean always looked forward to the yearly family reunion in Boothbay Harbor, ME, with her many relatives, especially the Sweet and Teel families. Jean was an avid reader and liked to stay up on current events, often cutting out and sending relevant articles to both family and friends. Over the last several years more happiness was made possible by a special friendship she enjoyed with Jack Poirier.
Jean spent her life helping others. Whether it was her social work duties, taking care of a neighbor or advocating for those less fortunate, she always rose to the occasion and tried to make a difference with those with whom she came in contact. Her family knows first hand what that was like and they will always hold her close in their loving hearts.
Jean was the devoted mother of James J. Cronin and his wife Hillary of Newburyport, John “Bill” Cronin and his companion Donna Tricone of Woburn, Paul M. Cronin and his wife Jane of Wrentham, Daniel P. Cronin of Worcester, Kevin F. Cronin and his wife Lisa of Franklin, Karen J. Cronin of Woburn and Joseph T. Cronin and his wife Leigh of Methuen. Dear sister of Nancy Sweet and her late husband Lyle of VA. Cherished grandmother of John Paul, Jennifer, Alison, James, Danny, Darcy, Ryan, Shawn, Patrick, Hanna and Timmy and great-grandmother of Logan, Brayden, Kyllie, Austin and Abby.
Funeral from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Calling hours will be held on Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment in Calvary Cemetery, Woburn.
Remembrances may be made in Jean’s memory to The Woburn Public Library, 45 Pleasant Street, Woburn, MA 01801.