An avid gardener; won various awards for her roses

MELROSE — Elinor A. “Ellie” (Reponen) Cronin, of Melrose, passed away after a long illness on January 23, 2023 at the age of 91.

Elinor was born in Gardner, MA graduating from Templeton High School in 1949. Went on to study home economics on scholarship at Skidmore College graduating 1953. Elinor worked in the Medford Schools as a home economics and early education teacher for 30 years.

She was an avid gardener and was active in Backyard Gardners, winning various awards for her roses from the garden she had on Norman Road. She was a member of Melrose Arts & Crafts, the knitters group formed out of Sit-N-Knit on West Emerson Street and was a member of Phi Theta XI Melrose community group, president from 1986-87.

Elinor was the wife of the late William Cronin. Devoted mother of Liz Cronin of Salem and Paul Cronin and his wife Megan of Marblehead. Loving grandmother to Elle, Katherine and Will Cronin of Marblehead. Dear sister to Dan Reponen of Florida and the late Linda Morse and Allan Reponen. Also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends gathered in remembrance of Elinor’s life for visiting hours at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 West Foster Street, Melrose, on Sunday, January 29, from 2 – 5 p.m. A funeral Mass was celebrated in the Church of the Incarnation, 429 Upham St., Melrose, on Monday, January 30, at 10 a.m. Burial to follow the Mass at Wyoming Cemetery, 205 Sylvan St., Melrose. Relatives and friends were respectfully invited.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Elinor’s memory may be made to My Brother’s Table in Lynn. To send a message of condolence please visit