Anne Cronin Keith, 91, passed away peacefully at her home at Indian River Colony Club in Melbourne, Florida on February 20, 2019 after a long battle with complications of stroke.
She was born in Aberdeen, Maryland on April 14, 1927 to Mary Sigourney Ferrell Cronin and John Wilmer Cronin, the youngest of three children. Anne and her sister Mary and brother Bill grew up at 118 S. Rogers Street. Their father J. Wilmer was an attorney who served for a time as a Maryland State Senator. Their mother May served on the State Board of Education and was an Elector for Franklin D. Roosevelt. Anne’s parents owned the Cronin building on S. Parke Street, with law offices and a print shop, where together with son Bill they edited and published the Harford Democrat & Aberdeen Enterprise weekly newspaper for many years.
Anne graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1944, where she was very active as editor of the yearbook Arrivederci, a junior volunteer at the Aberdeen Fire Department, and a strong supporter of the US military, as brother Bill was serving in the Army during World War II in Europe 1943-46. In the 1944 Arrivederci it is written that her high note was “Efficiency” and that her prophesy was that she would become a Navy wife and travel the world. After high school she attended Mary Baldwin College and the University of Maryland, where she was a proud member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority.
Anne was married to Francis Lovell “Frank” Keith of Middleboro, Massachusetts at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland on June 12, 1948. Frank graduated from the Naval Academy in 1946 and then had a career of 20 years in the Navy as a pilot and commander of the Navy’s largest multi-engine aircraft. For 18 years Anne worked as a Navy wife and homemaker, raising four children in the nomadic Navy lifestyle. The Navy assigned changes in duty post every 2-3 years, and so the family lived in Florida, Maryland, Washington state, California, Texas, Maryland, Newfoundland Canada, and Pennsylvania until Frank’s military retirement in 1966. Then he joined NASA as a tracking systems engineer for the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs, and they moved to Maryland, where all four children graduated high school. There Anne worked as a librarian at the Howard County Public Library, and was active in PTA, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts. Anne and Frank also hosted exchange students from Yugoslavia and Norway. All four kids went on to graduate at colleges in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Anne and Frank retired to Florida in 1985. They were founding resident members of the Indian River Colony Club (IRCC), a retirement community in Melbourne developed by (and for) retired military officers. This was their 29th (and last) home together, and in her 50th high school reunion missive, Anne referred to it as “Utopia”. They were very active in the IRCC community, in various clubs and hosting parties. Frank served a term on the IRCC board. Anne served as a volunteer hospital aide at Weusthoff Hospital in nearby Rockledge, Florida for 20 years. She continued as an active member of the Tri Delt sorority. She enjoyed playing golf and was the first woman to ever score a hole-in-one at the IRCC course. They were members of the King Center in Melbourne, where they enjoyed a wide variety of musical performances. Anne enjoyed playing piano and organ, doing needlepoint, and reading. She had prized collections of dolls, demitasse cups, plates, Christmas ornaments, antiques and artwork from all over the world. Anne and Frank traveled extensively, taking many sea cruises in retirement - to Hawaii, Bahamas, Panama Canal, Jamaica, and other Caribbean Islands. Many summers they rented a beach house in Onset, Massachusetts, Ocean City, New Jersey, Bethany Beach, Maryland, Outer Banks of North Carolina, and Sandbridge, Virginia where they hosted family reunions with their children and grandchildren.
Frank Keith passed away in 2017. In addition to her parents, Anne was also predeceased by her sister Mary Cronin Wolfe in 2008 and brother William Royall Cronin in 2015. Anne is survived by her daughter Lucy Anne Keith Schor and her three sons David Alden Keith, Peter Edward Keith, and Robert Douglas Keith, as well as eleven grandchildren - Alden Keith, Sanford Keith, Francis Keith, Taylor Schor, Peter Keith, Christopher Keith, Timothy Keith, Heather Keith, Melinda Keith, Elizabeth Keith and Madeline Keith, and four great grandchildren - Beatrix Keith, Kasper Keith, Ivy Miziolek and Sylvia Miziolek. Private services will be held at a later date at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis.