On Friday, Nov. 15, a score of friends and admirers gathered in Benedict Hall to bid farewell to Sue Cronkite.
Cronkite has been a fixture at the Apalachicola library for three years, organizing historical material, aiding in research and preparing documents for publication. Cronkite worked on Jimmie Nichols’ ‘Apalachicola Diary.’
While at the library SHE compiled an index of people referenced in books on the area to aid in genealogical research.
“That’s a real accomplishment for the library,” said librarian Caty Greene.
Most recently she has been working on “Apalachicola before 1861,” by retired University of Mississippi professor Harry P. Owens. The work was originally written as Owens’ doctoral dissertation at Florida State Unievrsity, and is soon to be published jointly by the library and the Apalachicola Area Historical Society.
Cronkite has also worked on books with regional historian Marlene Womack.
The candlelight supper was hosted by Greene and library board chair Susan Clementson. As the courses were served, each guest in turn told the story of their relationship with Cronkite and praised her for her patience, intelligence, diligence and compassion.
A journalist for many years as she raised her family alone, Cronkite moved to Apalachicola around 2000 to be near her daughter Mary Lynn Rodgers. A former reporter and editor at the Birmingham News, she worked as a writer for the Times for a few years.
She now plans to relocate to the Clearwater area where she will live next door to her daughter Alda Thomas and grandchildren Erin Rodgers, and Michael and Merri Rose Fink.
Cronkite said she would undertake a new adventure. She plans to write a book about a woman who hosts her own wake. She said she will frequently return to Apalachicola and plans to release the novel here once it is published. - By LOIS SWOBODA