Q&A with Dennis Cron: Family man (May 15, 2012)

Like his father, Assistant Town Manager Dennis Cron was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Norwalk, Anaheim and Orange.

His mom was a homemaker and his dad retired as General Manager of Santiago County Water District in East Orange.

After graduating from El Modena High School in 1974 and with prodding from his parents, Cron attended Santa Ana Jr. College, taking water science and fire science classes.

In 1975, he landed a temporary summer construction job with the El Toro Water District. The manager decided he liked Cron’s work and asked him to stay on full-time after the project was completed to become a water treatment plant operator. That accidentally began his public service career in the water business.

After working for El Toro at the treatment plant for five and a half years, Cron applied for a job opening at Running Springs Water District in 1980 and was hired in as their foreman. He operated the wastewater collections and water distribution system and stayed with the district for eight years.

In October of 1988, prior to the Town’s incorporation, he went to work at Apple Valley County Water District.

I was hired by then Water District General Manager, and former Town Manager, Bruce Williams, Cron said. Along the way I was also a volunteer and then paid-call firefighter/EMT for the Orange County Fire Department (Station 16) Modjeska Canyon, and also a paid call firefighter/EMT at Running Springs Fire Department.

Cron and his wife, Sherry, have been married 31 years and have four daughters: Heidi, Sandy, Sarah and Elizabeth, all married and out of the nest. They have six grandkids: Travis, Tyler, Brooke, Erika, Hannah and Abby, and one great grand-daughter, Ava Grace.

The Crons have lived in Mission Viejo, Running Springs, and lastly, Apple Valley — for more than 23 years now.

Q: What’s on your bucket list?

A: I would like to think I’m not old enough to have one yet, but for now it’s a summer fishing trip to Alaska and Northern Canada.

Q: If you could ask God any question, what would you ask?

A: When are you coming back?

Q: Who are three people you admire and why?

A: 1) My dad, Charlie. He always worked hard to provide for our family and took the time to teach me the value of honest work and always striving to do the right and honorable thing.

2) My wife, Sherry. She saw to it that our girls were brought up to respect and love each other and they maintain close family ties to this day. They are all involved with their churches and their own families but lean on their mom for many things to this day.

3) I’m proud of all our girls and the people they’ve become, but I have to say, I admire my step-daughter Heidi. With an autistic child and at times being a single parent (Navy wife and husband out to sea), left her home alone to deal with the difficulties of caring for a handicapped child. Her loving patience, consistent perseverance, amazing focus and confident resolve to bring him through traditional school allowed him to graduate from high school and has proven to make all the difference in his life.

Q: Tell us about your sense of humor. Who makes you laugh?

A: I try the best I can to find some humor in every event because that’s what my dad did. I try to make somebody laugh at something every day, even if they are laughing at me. It’s not any one person that makes me laugh and it varies based on the situation. But I have to say, former 1st District Supervisor and longtime Apple Valley resident Bill Betterley, who passed away this last March, told some of the most interesting stories and always made me laugh. I miss him!

Q: What are the key ideas that form your values and outlook?

A: Be honest, do the best job you know how and have some fun while doing it.

Q: Have you ever had a close brush with death?

A: I’m sure I have. Many things we do as young fools have us only a moment away from death at any given time, but in the truest sense, no. I thought I was going to die when I took a 160 MPH trip around Charlotte Motor Speedway with a professional driver, however.

Q: What could the America of yesterday teach the America of tomorrow?

A: That if you work hard, do a good job and put in your dues you will get those things that you need and many of the things you want, which are not the same thing! Many of the current crop of youngsters today demand everything they want without the commitment to put in the work and the time necessary to earn it. Some think they should get what they want just because they’re breathing.

Q: When you contemplate the meaning of your life, what do you conclude?

A: I don’t do that really, I keep my head down, do the best I can with the tools I’ve been given to handle the things before me. I’ll leave the judging of my effectiveness to others.

Q: Aside from the obvious, when you count your blessings, what are you grateful for?

A: My family, good close friends, a good job, good co-workers, and I’m grateful I’ve had very good health.

Q: What would you want your great-great grandchildren to know about you?

A: That their great-grandmothers were loved a lot by their great-great grandfather.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say, anything you’d like to get off your chest?

A: Nope, you started this, not me!!

Q: How can readers get a hold of you?

A: During regular business hours at the Town of Apple Valley, (760) 240-7000, ext. 7610.

Source: Apple Valley Review, applevalley-review.com/node/681