Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

September 27, 2013

John Cromer, 102

March 25, 1911 – September 26, 2013

Greensburg Daily News


John Cromer, 102, of Westport, passed away at Thursday, September 26, 2013 at his residence. He was born on March 25, 1911 in East Bernstadt, Ky., the son of Reed and Matilda (Lutz) Cromer.

John graduated from East Bernstadt Independent School and Sue College in London, Ky. He received a B.S. and Master’s Degree from Eastern Kentucky State University in Richmond, Ky. Prior to WW II, he taught school in Laurel County, Ky. After the war, he was hired by Phelps High School to teach, be the varsity basketball coach and drive a bus.  He was coach for nine years at Phelps High, Principal of Freeburn Grade School for five years and principal at Phelps High School for six years.

In 1967, he moved to Westport and became the principal of Sandcreek Elementary and High School for one year. In 1968, Sandcreek High School and Jackson High School merged to form South Decatur High School.  For nine years he was principal of Burney and Sandcreek Elementary Schools. In 1977, he retired with 36 years of service in Kentucky and 10 years in Indiana.

His memberships include Peter Creek Presbyterian Church in Phelps, Ky. He served on the Board of Directors of Decatur County United Fund and the Area 11 Agency on Aging. He was a former member and past President of the Westport Kiwanis Club and received recognition for leadership in building several new Kiwanis clubs in Indiana. He was also active in the BUG Award (Bring Up Grades) program and the Kiwanis Senior Citizen Thanksgiving Dinner. In 2001, he received the Senior Volunteer Award for Decatur County.

Mr. Cromer served on the Westport Town Board from 1972-1976 and 1992-2007. He prepared free tax returns for senior citizens and low income people for 18 years and helped many senior citizens when they needed help or a ride to the doctor.

Mr. Cromer was a veteran and he earned two bronze stars. In 1942, he volunteered with the Air Force and was trained as a glider pilot. The Air Force overestimated how many pilots they would need and he was discharged. He then volunteered with the U.S. Army. His assignment was with field artillery. He worked in the survey section and served in the European Theater of Operations.

He married Jacqueline Bodenheimer on December 8, 1951 in Freeburn, Ky., and she survives. Other survivors include his daughters, Rhonda Cromer of Whitesburg, Ky., Jenny Lu Cromer (Jim Logan) of New Orleans, La. and Mary Jane (Lynn) Shireman of Hartsville; his five grandchildren, David Cromer Logan, Ethan Henry Shireman, James Robert Logan, Hannah Lynn Shireman and Laura Emily Logan; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters, Mattye Oliver, Virginia Cummins and Louise Smith, and his brothers, Reed and Riney Cromer.

The funeral service will begin at 1 p.m. on Monday, September 30, 2013 at the Bass & Gasper Funeral Home in Westport. Burial will follow at the Westport Cemetery with military graveside services. A time of visitation will be held on Sunday, September 29, 2013 from 2 until 6 p.m. at the funeral home. Online condolences can be made to the family at