After a long illness, Richard Lee Kronberg died at his home in Tacoma, Washington, on Oct. 12, 2023, passing peacefully with his wife and two sons at his side. He was 77 years old.
His family and friends knew him and remember him now, as a man of great intellect. He was a gifted writer and speaker with a wonderful sense of humor and quick wit. He demonstrated great organizing ability, leadership skills, and kindness. He was a solid, loving husband to his wife, Cheri Solien, whom he married in 1985, and a very supportive father to their sons, Levi and Jake.
Born in New York City on Aug. 1, 1946, and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., Richard graduated from the Bronx High School of Science; he graduated from City College of New York and earned Master’s Degrees from both City University of New York (in Education) and College of New Rochelle (in Special Education). After spending a year at Cornell Law School, he came to realize that his true vocation was teaching, and he never looked back. Richard spent his early teaching years, from 1968 to 1981, teaching in New York City. Then, in 1981, he moved to Anchorage, Alaska, to teach for the Anchorage School District. He taught at Aurora and Klatt Elementary as well as Mears Jr. High. Starting in his early years in Anchorage, he got involved with the Anchorage Education Association (AEA). He was involved with teacher contract negotiations, was Region VI Director, and spent six years as AEA President and four years as NEA-AK president. After his retirement in 2007, he took on the NEA Alaska Retired local presidency and served as one of the NEA Alaska Retired directors. Richard fought for quality public education his entire career. He worked for education reform, defended teachers, and took positions on tough issues. He was an informed and articulate leader who understood the deep issues in public education.
Richard loved his two sons, Levi and Jake. He was there for them in their early years helping them with their academic learning, watching their sports, and sharing with them new experiences. Richard supported both sons through their life journeys, just as they fully supported their father through his last three years of illness. Levi and Jake will have him in their hearts forever.
Being outdoors was an important part of Richard’s life. In the 1970s, Richard could be found in Colorado climbing in the Rockies; he loved the mountain peaks, the lakes, the wildflowers, and
the animals…. He climbed Mt. Elbert, over 14,000 feet—the second-highest summit in the lower 48, before moving to Anchorage, AK, in 1981. His other life passions were reading, writing, music, photography, running, and hiking. Over the years, he hiked with Cheri in the natural beauty of Alaska and the western states, and the two of them enjoyed traveling to national parks and abroad.
From his teens onward, Richard was deeply involved in music, playing the guitar and jamming with other musicians. His favorite music genres were folk and old union songs. He also loved listening to country and classical music. After retiring to Tucson, AZ, for the first half of his retirement, he played guitar and mandolin with the band Every Other Sunday, which was a lasting memory for him. In the second half of his retirement in Tacoma, he enjoyed playing guitar, traveling, visiting with family and friends, and walking in Tacoma’s beautiful waterfront parks with his wife and dogs.
Richard leaves behind his wife, Cheri, of 38 years, and his sons Levi and Jake Kronberg. He is survived by sister-in-law Molly Kronberg and nephew Max Kronberg; cousins Ann, Stewart, and Paul Newfeld; sister-in-law Stephanie Solien Greer, brother-in-law Frank Greer, nieces, Jackie and Lilly Greer; sister- and brother-in-law, Dana and Mike Cada, niece and nephew, Cash and Sonny Cada. He was preceded in death by his parents, Martin and Shirley Kronberg, and his younger brother, Kenneth Kronberg.
Richard Kronberg positively affected so many people’s lives – his loving family, students, colleagues, and friends. All who are in mourning and missing him are deeply grateful for having known him.
A Celebration of Life will be held on November 4th from 1:00-3:30 pm at Titlow Lodge at Titlow Park, 8425 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98465.
Donations in Richard’s memory may be made to the charity of your choice.