Major General (ret.) Clifford John Kronauer Jr. was born in El Paso, Texas on August 10, 1920 to Linne and Clifford Kronauer into the loving home of his grandparents, Print and Julia Rhode.
General Kronauer began his distinguished and highly decorated military career attending the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM in the graduating class of 1940, having attained the rank of cadet colonel and was class valedictorian. Later, he went on to complete his education at MIT with a master's degree in aeronautical engineering. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1941 following completion of flight training. Throughout his 30 year military career he was a pilot (an instructor pilot during WWII) and held numerous command positions involved with the ballistic missile and space program, including 7 years at the pentagon and command of the Air Force Western Test Range at Vandenberg AFB, California.
After retirement from the Air Force in 1971 having served his last assignment at Andrews AFB in Maryland as Chief of Staff, Air Force Systems Command, General Kronauer joined General Electric as manager of the Space Systems Division and President of the Management and Technical Services Company in Pennsylvania. He retired from G.E. and moved to Colorado where he became the Director of the Defense Aerospace Ethics Office, and head of the Quality Assurance program of Martin Marietta.
General Kronauer is survived by his devoted wife of 74 years, Charlotte Quint Kronauer; daughter Donna Sharpe (husband Howard); grandchildren Bryan Clifford Sharpe, Dustin Sharpe (wife Angela) and Christine Shutt (husband Cody); great granddaughter Charlotte Ann. Also daughter Margaret Longo; grandchildren Michael and Katie; daughter Laura Coffey (husband Michael); grandchildren, Nathan, Meghan and Jason; daughter Carolyn VanFleet (husband Herman); son Brad Kronauer (wife Lisa); grandchildren Paige and Nicole.
He attained the highest of standards in every area of his life. He was a true intellect and Renaissance man in his constant pursuit of knowledge in the arts and sciences and was a self-taught pianist. He counseled and inspired his beloved family with great tenderness and wisdom and was a strong advocate for Christian values and conservative politics. He was a man of extreme discipline as also exemplified in his athletic achievements in his youth in boxing, diving, and horsemanship. He was an avid runner throughout his life, and excelled in handball, which he played competitively with his son Mark (deceased). At the age of 94 he routinely drove to the fitness center to swim 20 laps.