Flint legend Maxine Kronick died on January 13 in Flagler Beach, Florida. She was one of the people who made Flint such a fascinating place. She will be missed.
Kronick was fierce about acting and actors, fierce about the theater she loved and the children’s theater she founded in Palm Coast, fierce about the arts and artists she championed, fierce about the Israel she loved and where she lived for a few years—as fierce a secularist as she was, and she was that, she was also a proud Jew—and she was fiercely proud of her children and loyal to her friends, and even, at times, to the odd enemy: she debated fiercely, she relished a confrontation, she did not back down, and she liked a forum.
“As a former resident of Flint, Michigan, an active participant during the civil rights movement and an assistant to the first minority mayor, I am deeply saddened reliving these tragic times,” Kronick wrote in July in one of her innumerable and revealing letters to the editor in the News-Journal over the years, what would prove to be her next-to-last letter. She was decrying assault weapons and the latest mass shootings. And she would make her point quickly, sharply and with her usual wit: “When I lived in Israel a number of years ago, the style of gun used in these shootings was only in the hands of the army. There is no place for these rifles in the hands of everyday citizens. It’s my hope that the NRA will look at its policy on guns and review the horrendous killings we’ve had and re-evaluate its position on assault-style weapons. I don’t care about the caliber of the gun, the make of the gun, the size of it — there needs to be a stop to this. It’s too easy to get one of these weapons. If you want to hunt, then go to hunting lodges. But stop hunting people on the street.”
Maxine Kronick's obituary, which appeared in The Flint Journal:
She was born and raised in Troy, New York, attended the University of Bridgeport, and lived most of her life in Flint, Michigan, where she developed an acting career. Maxine later was appointed Director of Special Events for the City of Flint, and went on to a career in international events in Israel and Brazil.
She also produced two documentary films: one focused on the Jewish people remaining in Eastern Europe following the holocaust; and of the 30,000 Jewish lives saved in Shanghai, China. She had spoken in over 80 cities and the documentary "From the Shetl with Love" aired on public television. "Passport to Life, Destination Shanghai" was featured at the West Palm Beach Film Festival.
Her "3 minutes of fame" was in Michael Moore's first documentary "Roger and Me."
Upon her return to the States in 1992, she settled in Flagler Beach and created Theateriffic, a professional performing arts company for children. In 2005, Maxine was coordinator of the Daytona Beach Film Festival. "A Grandmother's Wish" by Grandma Max is a children's book written by Maxine, illustrated by young people from the area, and animated by her dear friends Leigh Ann Singleton and David Lawter. She has been a volunteer in the theater department of Buddy Taylor Middle School.
Maxine leaves a devoted family: Brian and Kathy Kronick, Brittany, Rachel and Jordyn of New Jersey; Scott and Lisa Kronick, Jacquelin and Samuel of Beijing, China; Dana and Michael Buttlar, Eden and Rudy of Laguna Hills, California; and Erin Krugel, Sloane and Orley of Huntington Woods, Michigan. She was also blessed with many incredible friendships.
There will be a private funeral and no visitation at her request. Memorial contributions can be made to City Repertory Theater, City Marketplace, 160 Cypress Point Parkway, Suite B207, Palm Coast, Florida 32164; the Simon Wiesenthal Center or any children's charity of your choice . Condolences may be sent to www.craigflaglerpalms.com
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Thanks for commenting. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.