Obituary Listings

Clifford Wayne Crone

April 20, 1929 May 4, 2020
Clifford Wayne Crone
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Obituary for Clifford Wayne Crone

Although he had hoped to live to 100, Cliff Crone succumbed to death on May 4, 2020, in the home of his loving son and daughter-in-law, Doug and Krishna Crone. It was a wonderful life, and Cliff went out singing lyrics from an old Bing Crosby song, “Oh, I’m no millionaire/But I’m not the type to care/’Cause I’ve got a pocketful of dreams . . .” only Cliff changed the last phrase to “’Cause I’ve got a family who cares for me.” Born in Davis, Illinois, to Gerald and Clara (Schurch) Crone, Cliff grew up on a family farm just outside of Rock Grove, Illinois--with brothers Don, Lawrence and Dave, and sister Judy--where he learned the value of hard labor and prided himself on physical strength. Always a man to seek balance, he left home to become a teacher, first studying at Carthage College (Carthage, IL), then receiving his Master of Education degree at the University of WI (Madison), and eventually his Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Colorado (Boulder), with three small children in tow. He adored children and devoted his life to them--especially his own--teaching them to love reading, good conversation, pegging points in cribbage, listening to big band music, foraging for morel mushrooms, walking in the woods together, and—of course—cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers during football season (“On Wisconsin” became a family anthem!). A man of deep faith, he also taught his children to love God and care for their neighbors. Starting his career as a teacher in a one-room school house, Cliff had many proud moments in his life working as a school administrator in Freeport, Jacksonville, and Naperville-Aurora, IL. He retired as superintendent of Indian Prairie School District 204, where he was deeply honored to have the Crone Middle School named for him. The school’s mission, “to create an atmosphere that encourages life-long learners who recognize their individual strengths, talents, and differences; thus promoting new ideas and ways of thinking in an environment that exemplifies tolerance, diversity, and a variety of learning styles,” epitomizes the things that Cliff valued most in life. Cliff was lucky in love, marrying the prettiest girl on the dance floor on June 27, 1953. Ireta Lavonne (Dyslin) Crone was his faithful companion for 58 years, during which they enjoyed several adventures together. Their favorite place in the world was their vacation home on Lake Wisconsin, where they loved to entertain friends and family members. Cliff valued public service and served in many community organizations throughout his life, including Rotary International, the Masons and the Illinois Tree Farmers Association. He served his country during the Korean War in the U.S. Army, and was ever grateful for his military service and all it taught him—especially about valuing others. Cliff treasured most his precious family--his three devoted children, five beloved grandchildren and two adorable great-grandchildren: Douglas (Krishna) Crone (Naperville), Connie Gibson (Chicago), Pam (Ken) Stofferahn (Ridgway, CO), Emer (Goran) Simic (Chicago), Brett (Sarah) Bina (Tampa, FL), Tom Bina (Chicago), Hunter Stofferahn (Portland, OR), Alicia Crone (Fort Worth, TX) and Maeve and Maura Simic (Chicago). Those of age will toast him with Manhattans at a celebration of Cliff’s life at Lake Wisconsin this fall when it’s safe to gather again, following a private family burial in Naperville on May 6, 2020. Gifts in Cliff’s memory may be made to any of Cliff’s alma maters, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Naperville, Rotary International, the International Crane Foundation, or any other organization that makes you think of him. Or, you might just plant a tree in his memory. That would please him immensely!

Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Naperville, was entrusted with arrangements.

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Event Information

Services are private.

Cemetery Details


Naperville Cemetery Final Resting Place

705 S. Washington St.
Naperville, IL 60540

705 S. Washington St. Naperville 60540 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Rotary International

International Crane Foundation


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