10/15/10 — ERNEST G. "BUDDY" CRONE

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July 3, 1924-Oct. 11, 2010

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Ernest G. "Buddy" Crone, 86, passed away Monday, Oct. 11, 2010.

Buddy was a lifelong educator, who was known for his dedication to his students. His kind, gentle nature influenced many people over the course of his teaching career.

Buddy was born July 3, 1924, in Goldsboro, N.C., to Clarence and Bertha Crone. He had lived in Gainesville since 1957.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Jessie Moseley Wooten Crone, in 1992, and daughter, Elizabeth Ann Crone Bussell, in 1995. He was also preceded in death by two siblings, Marie and Charles.

He is survived by a brother, Jimmy; four sons, George, Ray, Richard and Jimmy; seven grandsons, Ryan, Andrew (George), Bo (Richard), Will, Tom, Jack and Charlie (Jimmy), five granddaughters, Megan, Laura (George), Mary, Katie (Elizabeth) and Lily (Richard).

Buddy graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in 1947. He received his Master's of Education (M.Ed.) from the University of North Carolina in 1952.

He began serving in the United States Naval Reserve Officer's Training (NROTC) program in 1942, and attended the University of North Carolina through the V12 program. He was in the active United States Navy from July 1943 until September 1946. Buddy served as commanding officer of an LCI (landing craft infantry boat) while serving in the Navy.

In Boy Scouting, he achieved Eagle Scout rank.

Swimming and diving were also boyhood interests of Buddy's as a youth in Goldsboro. Buddy's diving success includes four consecutive North Carolina state high school championships from his 6th- through 9th-grade years (1936-1939). He was prohibited from competing after his fourth state title in 1939.

In 1943, Buddy earned a national championship in three-meter diving in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior National Diving competition. Buddy also won the Eastern Intercollegiate Diving Championship at Yale University in 1947, which was comprised of divers from the eastern seaboard.

Buddy carried his love of aquatics into adulthood, where he served as waterfront director for two North Carolina camps in the 1950s (Camps Carolina and Sequoyah), and he also served as waterfront director for Brant Lake Camp in the Adirondacks of New York from 1968 to 1972.

Buddy taught physical education at Auburn University from 1956 to 1957.

At the University of Florida, he taught physical education and health in the PE department (later known as the College of Health and Human Performance) from 1957 to 1988, retiring Aug. 8, 1988.

As head coach of the University of Florida Gator men's swim team from 1960 to 1962, he led the Gators to three consecutive southeastern conference (SEC) swimming titles. He was also the Lady Gator diving coach in the mid-1970s.

Another community affiliation of Buddy's was serving more than 50 years to the American Red Cross, including a stint as Alachua County Red Cross chairman one time.

Buddy was a longtime member of Trinity United Methodist Church, where he was a member of the Fisherman Sunday school class, and he also served as chaplain for the United Methodist men's group for many years.

Buddy also served as a lay pastor at Lochloosa Methodist Church from 1967 to 1968. Since Bible history was a longtime hobby of Buddy's, he used his love of Bible history to teach many Bible courses at Trinity (including Disciple study courses) and at various retirement communities (Village, Woodlands, and Oak Hammock) in Gainesville.

Buddy also served as Chairman of the worship committee while he lived at Oak Hammock.

Hobbies included spending time with his family, reading, studying ancient history, classical music and traveling.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, at 2 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church sanctuary, 4000 NW 53rd Ave., with Dr. Dan Johnson officiating.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Williams-Thomas Funeral Home Downtown, 404 N. Main St.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish, may make memorial contributions to Trinity United Methodist Church Missions, 4000 NW 53rd Ave., Gainesville, Fla., 32653.


Published in Obituaries on October 15, 2010 1:47 PM