Joseph E. Cronkey, M.D.

Dr. Joseph E. Cronkey, beloved husband, father, son, brother, and friend died after a sudden illness on Tuesday at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California. His wife is the former Yvonne Augustine.  The couple celebrated 44 years of marriage in July.

Born and raised in Scranton, PA, Dr. Cronkey was the son of Joseph F. and Helen Breno Cronkey. He attended Scranton Preparatory School and earned a full academic scholarship to the University of Scranton, where he graduated with honors in 1968. He received his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and returned to Pennsylvania, where he completed his internship, residency and fellowship in orthopaedic surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

In his youth, Joseph developed a passion for the outdoors and athletics, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout and excelling in both baseball and basketball throughout high school and college. As an adult, Joseph’s enthusiasm for sports grew to include tennis,  an interest that resulted in numerous championships. He was also an avid golfer, who loved playing with his wife, family, and friends. Joseph’s love for athletics led him to a career as an orthopaedic surgeon, an occupation that allowed him to help others participate in the activities which they so enjoyed.

Dr. Cronkey began practicing orthopaedic surgery in Scranton in 1977.  Throughout his career, he was an innovative physician. His commitment to his patients and his profession inspired him to run a practice that was forward-thinking in both technology and care, and his dedication touched the lives of many.

Joseph was a member of the Country Club of Scranton and the Waverly Country Club, and a parishioner at St. Gregory’s Church in Clarks Summit.

Joseph is remembered most as a loving son, husband, father, brother, grandfather, and friend. In addition to his wife Yvonne, he is survived by his mother Helen Cronkey; his daughter Erica Cronkey Galles and husband Dan; his son Damon Cronkey and wife Carrie; and his four grandchildren Cade, Colin, and Avery Galles and Caitlin Cronkey.  He is also survived by his sister Janice Morkel.

He was preceded in death by his father Joseph F. Cronkey, his brother Ronald Cronkey, and his infant son Aaron Cronkey.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday at 10 a.m. at St. Gregory’s Church on 330 N. Abington Rd. in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.

Friends may call Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Vanston and James Funeral Home, 1401 Ash St., Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Monday morning from 9 a.m. until time of Mass at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 961 Marcon Boulevard, Suite 452, Allentown, PA 18109.


  1. Jennifer Mercereau

    I had seen Dr. Cronkey for the first time this year due to severe ankle arthritis. I left his office feeling like he really cared about his patients as person, not just a number. Im so saddened to learn of his loss, one that will affect so many people including his family whom he spoke SO highly of during our office visit. He seemed like a wonderful husband and father and I was so impressed by his knowledge of the medical field he specialized in. Dr. Cronkey gave me some ideas that gave me hope for my future and Im sure many people will feel his loss for years to come. My deepest sympathy.

  2. Salvatore J. Nardozzi, Jr., Esq.

    Dr. Cronkey’s skill, talents, care, and professionalism were a blessing to all of us who had the fortune to treat with him. It is because of his abilities that I am able to walk as well as I do today. He put me back together after a bad motorcycle accident in 1992. My mother, the late MaryAnn (Cicero) Nardozzi, R.N., former Head Operatnig Room Nurse of Scranton State General Hospital, could not speak more highly of him as a man, a physician and a surgeon. My heartfelt condolences go out to all his family. He was a wonderful man as well as a physician and surgeon of consummate skill.

  3. Michele Zabriski

    Dr. Cronkey treated me and many members of my family with the utmost respect and caring. Any treatment he suggested to me I willingly agreed to because he was a man to trust; and he helped me more than I can say. He was kind, considerate and I told everyone I knew to seek him as a physician who was always on the leading edge of technology and treatment. Today, I want to thank him for all he did for his patients and all who knew and cared for him.
    My sincere sympathy for your great loss. God Bless You. Michele Zabriski

  4. Jim & Mary Boyles

    Our deepest sympathy for your loss. May you be comforted by the many
    warm thoughts of those who care.

    Jim & Mary
    (Former neighbors)

  5. patrick wandalowski

    Sympathies…especially to Damon and Mrs. Cronkey.

  6. Kenneth Strauss

    We send our deepest sympathies for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Your friends, Kenneth and Diane Strauss

  7. Charles and Dayle Swisher

    Yvonne, Joe was a good friend for a long time. He also provided great ortho care for all of us. He will be missed. Dayle and Charles Swisher

  8. Donna James

    My deepest condolences to Dr. Cronkey’s family. I knew Dr Cronkey for the 18 years I worked at CMC pediatrics and am so stunned to learn of his passing. He was the kindest, most caring and patient physician I ever had the pleasure of working with. He truly cared about each and every patient and was especially great with children. His compassion, wonderful sense of humor and expertise in his field has touched the lives of countless people. The world has lost a great man. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family of whom he was so proud and always spoke so highly of.

    Donna James
    Deltona, Florida

  9. Geri Vermac

    Yvonne and family, I am so truely sorry for the loss of Joe. He was a good man to his family and patients. I hope God will hold you all in His arms at this time of mourning and heal you from your loss! May he rest in peace knowing he is in our heavenly kingdom ! Again, I’m so, so sorry! Geri Vermac

  10. Dorothy McGuire

    I was so shocked to read of Doctor Cronkey’s passing. Oh my God this is a sad day for our family and all of his patients as well and Scranton. We always went to Dr. Cronkey for all orthepedic problems. He was such a good person he was so friendly and easy to talk to. He was so knowledgeable and his bedside manners were the best I have ever seen or got. We will miss him so much. All our sympathy and condolences to his beautiful family. May he rest in peace. May our lord Jesus Christ be with His family and help them thru this very trying time in their lives now. Be at peace forever. God Bless you all.
    Sincerely Dorothy McGuire and family.

  11. Jim Kanavy

    I express my deepest sympathy for Joe’s mother and family. I have known Joe since Kindergarten. We attended Nativity Elementary school and the University of Scranton together. We crossed paths several times and I utilized his practice. He was the consumate gentleman and professional.

  12. Wound Institute & Research Center

    I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Cronkey in 2006. But it was in 2012 working with Dr. Michael Moore at the Wound Institute is when I got to know him a little better. We always knew when Dr. Cronkey was here. The sound of his voice was booming but it always projected professionalism and caring. It was obvious his patients loved him. He innovative work at the Wound Institute attracted our interest and only wish we could have seen more of it come to fruition .
    It was also obvious he had a love for his family and friends. I’ll never forget the day he was here later than usual then whispered “I’m sneaking my daughter in” I replied “I’m proud of you” and he just laughed knowing that’s how he did things.
    When Dr Moore told us of this loss expletives were spoken from my mouth. There are some things we will never figure out and the loss of Dr. Cronkey is one of them. We are so sorry for your loss. Nanci Dobson RN, Michael F Moore MD, Doreen Ruggiero, Susan Kapp RN, Patricia Kreidler LPN

  13. Stephen Martino, a patient

    My most sincere prayers are with you, his family, at this time. Your husband, son, father, grandfather treated me not so much as a patient, but as a friend. He had a profound ability to explain conditions and treatments that always made me feel like he was training me to do the next procedure myself. I will miss our conversations and his medical treatments.

  14. judy oliveri martino

    Dr. Cronkey, was a unique and special man. He was a gentleman and a scholar. He Loved what he could do in his offices to make his patients feel better. My husband prefered the Halle Berrie room, while I prefered the Tim McGraw room. We both Respected, Admired, and Liked Dr. Cronkey. The feeling was mutual, I’m sure. His Love for his Family was profoundly touching. He was and Always will be AWESOME, to us. Thank-you to his family, for sharing him with us. We will miss his Tender Loving Care. We were Blessed to have know him, regarding his medical expertise, and compassion towards us. God Bless You Dr. Cronkey. We will always remember you fondly. God Bless your Family, and give them strength at this time and always.

  15. John and Charlotte Kuczynski

    We were shocked and saddened to learn about the sudden death of Dr. Joseph Cronkey. His warm and welcoming demeanor, his eagerness to share information and to try new treatments and, in the end, his endorsement of knee replacement surgery have kept John walking his beloved golf course. It was a privilege to have known him. Our heartfelt sympathy to his family.

  16. Marsha Krieg RN

    Yvonne,Erica,Damon, and families. Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of such a wonderful man. Dr Cronkey and I started working at CMC at the same time. He was an incredible ortho doc. I eventually went to work for him when I left the ER. He was the first one to hold my first born son 22 years ago (after my husband), checked his hips and proclaimed him healthy and beautiful with a big smile. He always made me feel good. I so wanted to come say good bye today, but I am now handicapped and don’t get out too much. My heart is so broken over the loss of this great man. I can’t even begin to know how you feel. Know this: He was a big man, with a huge heart, and a soft touch. He was my doctor, my employer and my friend. Jesus must have had a pretty bad ortho emergency to call him home so soon. The world is a better place for him being here, and a lonelier place without him. My prayers and love are with you always

  17. James J. Timlin PA

    I knew the Dr. 50yrs. ago.,through his brother Ronny. Later on in life I became one of his patients. I also worked beside him in the ER at CMC. What a gentleman and excellent Physician. God Bless.

  18. Elaine M. Merieski

    Dear Mrs. Cronkey & family:

    I met your beloved husband 28 yrs. ago on a snowy Dec. 23rd after choir rehersal when I broke my wrist in three places. Upon arriving at the emergency room I was told you’re LUCKY–Dr. Cronkey is on. Upon examing me he informed me he could not set it for 24 hrs. & made a special trip on Christmas Eve to do so after teasing me to lay off the booze. (I never drank) He did everything to make me feel better & thus I continued with him for 28 yrs. I’ve been treated and cared for by him for other arthritic problems. In June 2010 he literally saved my life after countless tests, xrays, blood work, bone scans, MRI’s, etc: etc: nothing could be found—Dr. Cronkey did and relieved a pain in my side that I had for 6 months. God Bless Dr. Cronkey. I in turn had my son,
    & husband to him when they developed broken bones, fractures,etc: Dr. Cronkey knew I was paranoid of needles & I’d semi yell out in pain that ONLY HIS INITIALS WERE J C & he’d laugh. He truly was JC in my eyes & mind and I’ll be forever grateful. He will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know him. Thank you for sharing. May you all find peace and comfort in the many lives he made better.

  19. Vickie and Greg Mrva

    Dr. Cronkey was a great man with an incredible heart who could light up a room and immediatley make those around him feel welcome and loved. We are honored to have known him and greatful for the friendship we have with the family he created. Our deepest sympathies for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

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