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South Lewis mourning loss of senior to apparent medical issue


CONSTABLEVILLE — The South Lewis community is mourning the loss of a high school senior who died over spring break of an apparent medical issue.

“It’s like part of our family,” said Sharon M. Smith, cosmetology instructor at the Howard G. Sackett Technical Center in Glenfield. “Very tough.”

Kaylee R. Croniser, 18, Constableville, who was a second-year student majoring in cosmetology at the center with plans to pursue a career in that field, last Wednesday apparently suffered some type of medical problem at her Croniser Road home, said Dale W. Roberts, senior investigator with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department.

However, no official cause of death could be determined from an autopsy conducted by Dr. Samuel A. Livingstone, Lewis County’s coroner’s physician, according to Mr. Roberts.

“It’s just an unanswered tragedy,” he said.

Further laboratory test results may eventually shed more light on the situation, but those won’t be available for some time, he said.

There is no criminal investigation in the case, Mr. Roberts said.

“She got along with everybody,” Mrs. Smith said.

Cosmetology students spend 2 hours each school day, as well as Monday evenings, together, so they tend to develop a bond with their instructors and fellow students, she said.

Upon returning from spring break Monday, the class met with grief counselors, then made a paper chain with messages to Miss Croniser and her parents, Mrs. Smith said.

The funeral service, overseen by Trainor Funeral Home, Boonville, also was held Monday morning.

“It was, in general, a rough week,” Mrs. Smith said.

The cosmetology instructor on Monday also provided an emailed statement concerning her memories of Miss Croniser.

“Kaylee Croniser will be greatly missed by all of her cosmetology classmates and instructors,” she wrote. “Kaylee from day one brought a true passion for doing hair. I remember how her face beamed when I was telling her mom about how talented Kaylee was. Kaylee loved to style long hair into the most beautiful, elegant styles. She was a natural. Even more noteworthy was Kaylee’s genuine kind heart. She was always the type of student to ask me if I needed help with anything. Kaylee shared her love of music, dance and doing hair with her classmates. It was definitely a tearful goodbye today.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends,” said South Lewis Central School District Superintendent Douglas E. Premo, who met with family members Friday.

Mr. Premo, whose district also dealt with the death of a high school student during the previous school year, said counselors from local organizations and other area districts have been on hand at school since Thursday and will continue to be available to those who need them.

“Our library becomes our counseling center during a crisis like this,” he said.

Staff members were informed of the situation last week, and accommodations were made for any who wished to attend services for Miss Croniser, Mr. Premo said.

About half the senior class was either absent Monday or left school early, he said.

Miss Croniser, the daughter of Richard W. and Rose A. Weber Croniser, was a member of the junior varsity volleyball team and the high school chorus, according to her obituary.

Two Facebook memorial pages have been established for Miss Croniser, with roughly 1,500 followers combined.

Messages left on the boards described her as a patient and kind person who always had a smile on her face and had the ability to make others laugh.

Others expressed their condolences to her parents and family.

“Your daughter is a beautiful, sweet girl, who can only make heaven’s light a little brighter for all of us left behind,” one person posted.

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