Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service

Mary Crowley

December 7, 1923 ~ February 27, 2019

Mary Elizabeth Crowley, our extraordinary matriarch and sweet friend peacefully departed this world on February 27, 2019 surrounded her family. She was 95.

Born in Boise, Idaho on December 7, 1923, Mary was the only child of Roy and Grace Steele.  She had many wonderful memories of Idaho.  Mary and her parents loved the outdoor life.  They hiked mountains, camped on beds of pine boughs, and ate the fresh fish they caught. Her father was a railroad man which instilled a love of trains in her.  Mary received her high school diploma from the Ursuline Academy in 1941.

She married US Air Force Lt. James A. Crowley in Bakersfield, CA on September 30, 1944.  Jim made a career in the USAF while they were blessed with five children; Jimmy, Janet, Michael, Patrick and John.  The Crowley’s made many moves with the Air Force around the United States as well Guam, Puerto Rico and two tours of duty in Madrid, Spain. No matter where they were stationed, Mary always made it feel like home.  She encouraged the family to appreciate the local flavor, history and customs.  Her ability to embrace each new location set the tone for the family.

In 1952, Jim and Mary decided they needed a home base and settled in Buzzards Bay, MA. After retirement from the USAF in 1969 they opened their own real estate firm, Crowley Associates.   Jim’s sudden passing in 1975, left Mary to grow the business and care for her family.

For over forty years Mary had a successful career in real estate on the Upper Cape and was known for her honesty and integrity. This reputation earned her many positions on the state and local level.  Mary was the first woman to be elected President of Cape Cod and Islands Association of Realtors and went on to become President of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors in 1998.

Mary was also known for her incredibly strong Catholic faith and devotion to community service. She was an integral part of the St. Mary’s/St. Margaret’s congregation touching generations as a Eucharistic Minister, Reader, Catechism teacher and many other roles. She received the Marian Medal for her service to the parish and the St. Margaret's Regional School Scholarship Fund was set up in her honor when she celebrated her 90th birthday.  

Mary was also very civic minded and gave her time and talents to her community.  She served on the Tobey Hospital Board, was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, taught Junior Achievement, and was a member of the Planning Board. 

Mary loved the beauty of Cape Cod, walking along the canal and especially the train bridge which kept her love of trains alive.  There were family gatherings filled with lobster and steamers that brought her great joy.  She also had a little wanderlust and was always looking for her next travel adventure which included; a trip to China, numerous trips to Roatan, Honduras and teaching real estate ethics in Romania.  She frequently visited family in Montana, where you might find her on horseback at the ranch or the back of snowmobile in Yellowstone. She always embraced life and at the age of 85 she went on a week-long rafting trip on the Salmon River in Idaho.

Friends and family always marveled at her fierce independence, tireless energy as well as her resiliency, which she credited to her faith.  All of these strengths carried her through several family tragedies.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Grace Steele, husband CMSgt. James A. Crowley, sons Lt. James A Crowley II (KIA – Vietnam), Michael Steele and John Crowley, daughter-in-law Jane Crowley Foster, and grandson Jared Steele.  She is survived by daughter Janet Brownell of Bozeman, MT; son, Patrick Crowley of Onset, MA and Thomas Foster (Marge) of Sandwich, MA, who she loved as her own son. She also leaves behind grandchildren Janie Marlatt (Geoff), James A. Stringari, Tanya Divish (Mike), Miranda Steele, Hannah Steele and Sam Steele. Mary's legacy continues with 9 great grandchildren.

In 2017, Mary’s final chapter brought her to Bozeman, MT to be closer to her daughter Janet and two of her grandchildren. She laughed, smiled and continued to make new friends at Highgate Senior Living Community. True to her spirit, she greeted everyone with a kind word and kept her quick wit and sense of humor to the very end. 

Mary Crowley lived a rich and full life and gave so much of herself to so many. She rallied after tragedy, had tremendous work ethic, unyielding faith, inspired all who knew her.  She set the bar very high for those of us left behind.  She will be missed by many.  We take comfort knowing she is at peace and finally home with so many loved ones.

The family would like to thank Bozeman Deaconess Health staff for their care and compassion in recent days and the staffs at Keystone Place at Buzzards Bay and Highgate Senior Living Community in Bozeman for their contribution to the quality of Mary's life in her final years. 

A funeral service will be held on June 20, 2019 at 10:00 A.M. at St. Margaret's Parish in Buzzards Bay, MA.  The family will host a reception following the service at St. Margaret's School. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Mary Crowley Educational Fund at St. Margaret's School, checks payable to St. Margaret's Parish, 141 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532.