On Oct. 2 Ed Crona celebrated his 94th birthday. Crona is well-known in the community after teaching four generations of Monte Vista students.
Crona was born in Longmont and grew up on a farm east of Longmont where his family grew sugar beets. He can remember as a boy how he would go out and help do the work by hand. Crona sharing how much farming has changed in his lifetime with the sophisticated machinery available today.
Crona’s parents were first generation immigrants from Sweden. Crona sharing that his father came to America in 1905 and his mother came around the same time. They met each other here in America at a Swedish festival as Crona recalled.
Growing up Crona attended a little country school, were he spent nine years before heading to Frederick Highschool. He graduated there in 1945. When asked what he did after high school Crona answered saying, “Well I was trying to be a farmer. I had asthma, and I had an asthma attack in 1948. And so, I decided to go to school at what is now the University of Northern Colorado in Greely. It was called Colorado State College of Education then.”
Crona who is very good at English decided to make it his major there, with a minor in Spanish, and a Social Study minor. It was during his time studying in Greeley that he met his wife, Betty May Frew. “She came to Greeley to work on her masters, and that’s where we met,” said Crona adding, “She was an elementary P.E. teacher.”
Crona graduated from the Colorado State College of Education in 1952 and taught for one year in Lusk Wyoming. On May 31, 1953, he married Frew and together they were both notified that they’d be interviewed for a job in Monte Vista. “We came in Aug. 1953, and stayed,” said Crona. Crona and his wife Betty, started a family in Monte Vista having two sons and a daughter.
Crona taught for 33 years in Monte Vista. He taught English to 7th, 8th, and 9th graders during that time. “I liked for kids to be reading,” said Crona about what made him want to be a teacher adding, “And of course I tried to teach them grammar.” Crona remembers some of his students didn’t think much of English at the time saying with a smile, “Well some of the kids at the time didn’t think much of English and didn’t think much of me, I guess. But when they became parents and grandparents, they told me you did a pretty good job. One of them said I wish my kids were in your class.”
When asked if he had any advice for anyone else who wants to reach 94 Crona answered saying, “I think the best thing I did for myself was quit smoking. I didn’t have any business starting to smoke since I had asthma. My asthma cleared up when I came here.”
Crona has always enjoyed working in the soil and shared that he always gardened because of that. “Because I wanted to be a farmer my hobby is gardening,” said Crona who still grows a garden each year. “I would raise carrots, beets, peas, beans, and sell at the farmers market in Alamosa and in Monte Vista,” said Crona sharing that he sold some of his produce this year as well.