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1952 Martha Cronin 2023

Martha M. (Joyce) Cronin

August 7, 1952 — September 23, 2023


To care for one . . . that’s love. To care for hundreds . . . that’s nursing.

Martha Cronin took care of everyone that came into her life. From a nervous patient, a family member, to a passerby on the street she always looked out for everyone. She was an easy person to get along with. She was selfless, patient, dependable . . . and could cook a gourmet meal for thirty plus people on a moment’s notice.

Christmas dinners were looked forward to all year by her entire family whom she adored (and who certainly adored her). She did the shopping, prep, and cooking but the deal was that someone else had to do the cleaning . . . but she even helped with that! Her dry sense of humor made everything fun. Whether she was at work or at a casual get together she always approached everything with a certain lightheartedness that only she could convey and had an ability to simply make everything better . . . her life was a gift.

Martha M. (Joyce) Cronin, of Watertown, formerly of Waltham, died at home on Saturday, September 23, 2023 following a period of declining health.  She was 71.

Martha was born in Brighton on August 7, 1952, a daughter of the late Robert E. and Dorothy I. (McKenna) Joyce. Raised in Waltham she was a graduate of Rosary Academy in Watertown with the Class of 1970. Her innate ability to care for others and put anyone at ease led her to the field of nursing. Earning her nursing degree from Mount Auburn Hospital School of Nursing in Cambridge, and later her bachelor’s from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston, she had worked for a number of years at Boston College and most recently for Harvard Vanguard.

It takes a special person to be a nurse on a college campus.  At BC she saw pretty much every situation a newly minted or a seasoned student could stumble upon but she never panicked, fretted or hesitated . . . she just knew what to do.  She helped, she healed and she hugged . . . and moved on.

Always making sure everyone was ‘ok’, often checking in on patients and family alike with weekly follow ups, she constantly put the needs of others above her own. Martha somehow had an ability to understand the exact emotions of what other people were going through and always knew what to say and do.

She loved to have long conversations with friends and family and was always the first to drop in or call the moment she knew someone needed it. Her wise counsel was always appreciated.

She enjoyed watching true crime programs and Court TV and if nursing hadn’t sounded the call she would have made a great detective or prosecutor.  She also enjoyed going on cruises or trips to Foxwoods with friends.

Her greatest accomplishment of all however was being a mother and grandmother extraordinaire.   

The mention of her grandkids, Michaela, Garrett, and Cammy, who affectionately called her ‘Mimi’, brought a wide smile to her face and a story soon followed. Frequent deliveries of toys, clothes, Halloween costumes, gadgets and more delighted her grandkids and she was overjoyed when she saw them.

Every accomplishment or event of her kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews were cherished and showcased on her kitchen fridge. She was so proud of everyone and always let them know how much they were loved.

She was the devoted mother of Lt. Col. Robert P. Cronin, USMCR of Alexandria, Virginia and Meghan C. Wilson (Michael) of Framingham, the beloved ‘Mimi’ to her grandchildren, Michaela, Garrett, and Cameran Wilson and cherished sister of Barbara A. MacIntyre of Maynard, Maura E. O’Neil (David) of North Reading, Francis J. Joyce (Kathleen) of Waltham, and D. Justine Ryan (Thomas) of Darien, Connecticut. Martha also leaves many nieces, nephews, cousins, and their families.

Family and friends will honor and remember Martha’s life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham on Thursday, September 28th from 4 to 7 p.m. and again at 9:30 a.m. on Friday morning before leaving in procession to Saint Jude Church, 147 Main Street, Waltham, where her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Waltham.

To watch a broadcast of Martha’s Funeral Mass please visit

Memorial donations may be made to the Michael Lisnow Respite Center, 112 Main Street, Hopkinton, MA  01748 or online at


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martha M. (Joyce) Cronin, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Calling Hours

Thursday, September 28, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Friday, September 29, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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Friday, September 29, 2023

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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