Margaret May Crowley, of Weston, CT, the mother of Kevin J. Crowley of Weston, CT, Kathleen Crowley-Kerekas of Hempstead, NY, and Michael Crowley of Black River, NY, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on August 9, 2012, surrounded by her family. She was 89 and 3⁄4 years old.
Marge, or Maggie as she liked to be called by some friends, was born December 16, 1922, in New York City, the daughter of the late William H. and Margaret B. (Moskovitz) Croughan. She was a resident of Weston for the past 17 years, residing in an independent apartment in her son’s home in Weston.
Marge graduated from Bishop McDonald High school in Brooklyn, New York, where she met and maintained many friendships for the next seven decades. Marge attended Hunter College of CUNY, graduating in February 1945 with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. In July 1946, Marge assumed the position of Assistant Field Director and Psychiatric Social Worker for the American Red Cross, Eastern area, based out of Alexandria, Virginia, until June 1953. During her ARC years, she worked at the Oakland, California and St. Albans, NY Naval Hospitals as well as at Fort Dix, in NJ, attending to the needs of our soldiers and their families. While in California, Marge attended the University of Southern California.
Having found her calling, Marge pursued and received her MSW degree from Columbia University in 1951. Marriage to John B. Crowley in 1952, and beginning a family, occupied the next few years of her life until she joined the Pederson-Crag Mental Health Center in Huntington, NY as its Founding Social Worker and Therapist in 1960. In 1965, Marge became the first Social Worker for the Huntington Public Schools and remained there for the next 25 years, serving the needs of generations of families until her retirement in 1989. During her years in public education, Marge became active in the Huntington Federation of Teachers, eventually serving on the Executive Board. She also became active in the New York School Social Workers Association, serving as President of the statewide organization in 1989.
The above noted accomplishments barely scratch the surface of who Marge really was. As a child in the Depression, Marge saw her family reach out to those less fortunate than her own. This passion for helping others undoubtedly informed her choice of career and her involvement as a Guardian Ad Litem in Bridgeport, CT, for needy children and families. Her interest in people ignited a desire to travel and see the world. During family vacations in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Marge traveled throughout the United States and visited Europe for the first time. She would later return many times to Europe and attended graduate school during the summers of 1977 & ‘78 in Lugano, Switzerland, as she pursued her Doctorate in Social Work from Nova University.
Marge was at her finest and proudest as a Senior Member of the Semester at Sea college programs sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh. Marge would pack up and be off for four months during each voyage, spending time with dignitaries such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Crown Prince of Morocco, among others. Marge was happy to teach courses on the ship, counsel the undergraduate students, and play the role of grandmother and friend to all.
Upon her move to Weston, Marge became active in the Weston and Westport Senior Centers where she developed many close friendships. She also was an active parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church as a regular Communicant and as a Eucharistic Minister.
Marge is survived by her children and their spouses, Kevin and Susan Crowley of Weston, CT, Kathleen Crowley-Kerekas and William of Hempstead, NY, and Michael and Joann Crowley of Black River, NY, as well as five grandchildren, Brian and Colleen Crowley of Weston, CT, Kieran Kerekas of Hempstead, NY, and Melissa and Michael Crowley of Black River, NY.
A Funeral Mass will take place at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Weston, CT, on August 25th at 11:00 a.m. to be followed by a Celebration of Life at the Parish Center at noon. A private interment will be held on September 1st in Watertown, New York. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Margaret Crowley Memorial of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, a favored charity of Marge’s.