GALVA — Bernard J. “Bernie” Cromien passed away Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, in the emergency room at OSF St. Luke Medical Center in Kewanee.
Bernie was born in Kewanee on March 2, 1930, the son of George and Anna (Grumley) Cromien. Bernie attended Cromien Community School in rural Galva and later graduated from Galva High School in 1948. Following high school, Bernie served in the U.S. Army in Panama during the Korean War. He married Catherine “Kate” Golby at Visitation Catholic Church on Jan. 16, 1954.
Following the death of his father, Bernie took over the family farm and continued as the patriarch of his large Irish family for the next 64 years. In addition to farming, he started selling insurance in 1966 for SVEA Mutual Insurance and founded Cromien Insurance Agency in Galva.
Prior to his death, Bernie was the longest living member of St. John’s Catholic Church, where he has served as a trustee and was a member of many committees, including the building committee for the current church. He was also instrumental in having stained glass windows added to the church. Bernie was a former member of the Galva Co-op Board, the Lake Calhoun Board, SVEA Mutual Insurance Board, Knights of Columbus, American Legion, Elks Lodge, Galva High School Wall of Fame and the Galva Boosters’ Club. He also coached Little League baseball for many years while his sons were growing up. Bernie was named Galva’s “Citizen ofthe Year” in 2011, his hometown of which he always took great pride. In 2016, Bernie was honored at the annual SVEA Mutual Golf Outing for his many years of service.
In addition to his wife of almost 64 years, Bernie is survived by his children, Colleen (John) Myers of Dubuque, Iowa, Sheila Cromien of Kewanee, Dan (Ruth) Cromien of Grand Mound, Iowa, Patrick (Janet) Cromien of Ballwin, Mo., and Sarah (Steve) Pivnicka of Woodstock, and a daughter-in-law, Jeanette Cromien of Galva. His grandchildren include Tim, Bryan and Molly (Smith) Conklin, Maria (Dimmer) Cromien, Bridget, Kevin and Maggie Cromien, and Brennan, Shea, Connor, Brogan, Declan, Finn and Rory Pivnicka. His great-grandchildren are Pearl Dimmer and Charlotte Smith. His brothers and sisters are Ruth Youngberg of Glendale, Ariz., Rosemary Kempin of Sandy, Utah, Leo Cromien of Glendale, Ariz., and John Cromien of Panorama Village, Texas.
Bernie was preceded in death by his parents; his grandson, Ben Cromien; and two sisters, Mary Terry and Margaret Schula.
Bernie embraced his Catholic faith and loved Notre Dame football, the Chicago Cubs, the Galva Wildcats and his many friends. However, nothing was more important than his large Irish family.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at St. John Catholic Church in Galva. Celebrants will be Father John Burns and Monsignor Ernest Pizzamiglio. Burial will be in Galva Cemetery, where military rites will be accorded by the Galva Fusiliers.
Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at the church with recitation of the rosary at 2:30 p.m.
Memorials may be directed to St. John Catholic Church, Duke Pediatric Brain Tumor Research, Galva Booster Club or to Visitation Catholic School in Kewanee.
The Rux Funeral Home in Galva is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.ruxfuneralhome.com.