by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

After 41 years on the bench in Sylvania Municipal Court, Acting Judge William Kroncke is turning in his gavel. To his knowledge, he holds the record as the longest serving acting judge in Ohio, compiling 45 years on the bench, first in Maumee and 41 years in Sylvania.
According to Kroncke, an ‘“acting” judge is one who is appointed by a “presiding” judge that has been elected. “I was first appointed to the Sylvania bench by the late Sylvania Municipal Judge William Erb. When Scott Ramey succeeded, he asked me to stay on. Mike Bonfiglio also asked if I would stay after his election two years ago,” Kroncke explained.
“But now this is the right time for me to retire. I am ready to spend more time with my wife, Jan, my children and enjoy my 21 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. It is also a good time for the court.”
Municipal Judge Mike Bonfiglio has recently hired Magistrate Christy Cole to ease the case load of the very busy and second largest court in northwest Ohio where 14,000 cases were heard in 2018.
Kroncke, who averaged about 40 hours on the bench each month, handled primarily civil cases. “People want to be heard,” Kroncke noted. “After I explain the rules of the court and how the procedure works, I ask those appearing before me to start at the beginning and tell me what happened. My job is to separate the truth from fiction.”
In addition to his role on the bench, Kroncke maintains a private law practice with the firm Kroncke, D’Arcangelo, Furey & Mills, located at 5800 Monroe St. He plans to continue practice, but on a more part time basis.
Kroncke’s interests go well beyond the legal system. While his children were growing up, he found boating to be an ideal way for he and his children to create lasting family memories. He also found time to assume a leadership role at Bay View Yacht Club, serving as commodore.
After moving on from sailing, he happened upon Toledo Suburban Airport where he was bitten by the flying bug and soon became a licensed pilot. For over 36 years he flew family and friends to holiday destinations in his Piper Archer. He also became a volunteer with Angel Flight, an organization responsible for transporting children with an illness or medical situation requiring attention to where they needed to go for treatment. During his time with that group, he flew 85 missions, one of which involved a Sylvania-area family caring for a child from Africa suffering from a crippling birth defect. “This was such a rewarding experience and I am so pleased that I had the opportunity to help so many children and their families,” he related.