Bruce Alton Cromack was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts on December 2, 1929 to Minnie (Messer) and Theodore Cromack, Bruce attended the Brick School in East Colrain. While growing up he learned the carpentry trade from his father and eventually left school at Arms Academy early to work alongside his father building many homes, barns and other buildings in the area. In 1950 Bruce enlisted in the Navy and proudly served as a member of MCB-6 the Navy’s Mobil Construction Battalion. As a Seabee Bruce continued to hone his skills as a builder and contractor setting up a lifelong love of building. During his career he had the pleasure of working with his father, brothers, brothers in law, son, sons in law and many others whom he mentored. His children remember him researching building methods and design at Old Deerfield before beginning various restoration projects, work he was particularly passionate about. One of those ‘passion projects’ and a monument to his skill is the Solomon Temple Barn which, under his supervision, was disassembled, moved and carefully reconstructed at the Heath Fairgrounds where it stands today. Bruce was married at the Heath Union Church on January 31, 1953 to Catherine Ann Burrington and then built a house in Colrain where they lived until moving their family to Heath in 1962. While raising five children, Bruce served the Heath Union Church as a Deacon and member of the Property and Search Committees as well as the Town of Heath as a member of the Planning Board, Town Lister and tireless poll worker. Many will remember him as an active member of the Heath Grange and Heath Historical Society. A lifelong hunter and longtime member of the Ashfield Rod and Gun Club, Bruce hunted bobcat and raccoon with his father and later deer, moose, bear and turkeys with friends and family. He always looked forward to his annual hunting trip to Maine with Russ Denison. Bruce and Catherine retired to Erving in the mid-1990’s, becoming active in the Trinitarian Congregational Church in Northfield, worked the polls in Erving and enjoying the company of family and friends, rarely missing an opportunity to have dinner with their children or to attend a grandchild’s school event. More recently, he has enjoyed welcoming each great grandchild as they arrived. Bruce was predeceased by his wife, Catherine, his parents, his sister Mae (Ed) Moore, and brother Dana (Patricia) Cromack. He is survived by his companion, Linda Leavis of Northfield, 2 brothers, Theodore (Mary) Cromack of Shelburne and Duane (Janice) Cromack of Amherst; 5 children, Cynthia (Allan) Smith of Shelburne, Debra (Charles) Washer of Shelburne, Weston (Karen) Cromack of Bremerton, Washington, Lisa (Norman) Davenport of Shelburne, and Brenda (James) Gallagher of Okeechobee, Florida; 12 grandchildren; Daina, Elise, Maegan, Nathan, Fredrick, Denise, Jennifer, Richard, Jonathan, Brian, Claire and Tranae and 14 great grandchildren; Mason, Connor, Isaiah, Evangeline, Zoey, HannahGrace, Garrett, Riley, Logan, Josiah, Rhett, Nicholas, Garth and Teddy. He also leaves Linda’s children, Kim (Steve) Collins, Leslie (Steve) Kellogg and Caralyn (Craig) Ballou and 5 grandchildren, Stephanie, Matt, Dana, Elizabeth, Eric.
In lieu of flowers, consider a memorial contribution to: Hospice of Franklin County, 329 Conway St, Suite 2, Greenfield, MA 01301; Northfield EMS care of Mark Fortier, 579 Mount Hermon Station Rd, Northfield, MA 01360; or Trinitarian Congregational Church Memorial Fund, 147 Main Street, Northfield, MA 01301. Visiting hours will be Sunday, March 3rd from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at Smith Kelleher Funeral in Shelburne Falls. A celebration of life will be held at the Trinitarian Congregational Church, 147 Main Street in Northfield at 1:00 pm on Monday, March 4th. We invite you to wear Bruce’s favorite color, purple, to honor his memory.
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