University sports fans are mourning the loss of 23-year-old Mary Frances Cronin.
Cronin, a student from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, N.B., died suddenly on April 29 at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital.
“All of us are devastated. Mary brightened every room she entered,” read her obituary.
“She was unfailingly optimistic and full of life and joy.”
Cronin was a member of the Tommies soccer team at St. Thomas University and a popular coach of girls’ soccer in the region. Her obituary says she loved sports and was a lifelong soccer player.
She also spent years as a member of the Fredericton District Soccer Association.
She later joined the women’s rugby team for the University of New Brunswick to pursue a degree in Geodesy and Geomatic Engineering.
“Mary was a shining example of what it means to be a student-athlete, excelling in the classroom and in sport,” read a post from the UNB Reds on Twitter.
“Her talent and leadership, among her many gifts, will be missed.”
Cronin’s family says Cronin was a fierce competitor and the best of friends on and off the field, adding that she regularly volunteered for numerous programs. They say she was a lover of life and revelled in her friends and family.
Cronin is survived by parents Arthur and Michele Cronin, brother Raymund, boyfriend Brandon Sanford, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
In place of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Mary Cronin FHS Memorial Soccer Scholarship, the STU Woman’s Soccer program or the UNB Varsity Reds Women’s Rugby program.