James E. Crowley, 83, of Granite Street, Westerly, passed away on Saturday, June 11, 2022. He was the devoted husband of the late Jean J. (Coduri) Crowley. Born in Holyoke, MA, he was the son of the late Raymond and Josephine Crowley.
Jim graduated from Sacred Heart High School, a parish school operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph. While paying weekly bills with his father, a chance meeting with Dr. Frank Boyden, led to the Suffield Headmaster taking an interest in Jim’s future. He made it possible for Jim to attend Suffield Academy for a year before college. Jim made the most of the opportunity and went on to attend Amherst College (’60), where he played football and rugby. At commencement, Jim had the deep honor of receiving the Obed Finch Slingerland Prize for “the student who has shown by his determination and accomplishment the greatest appreciation of and desire for a college education”. After graduating, he joined the Air National Guard and was stationed in Europe during the Berlin Crisis.
His career was varied – starting as a restauranteur in Manhattan, moving to investment brokerage with Merrill Lynch and Dean Witter to a semi-retirement role ‘observing short term finance’ at the craps table as Table Games Supervisor at Mohegan Sun.
Jim fell in love with Westerly as a child during a family vacation in Misquamicut. Never forgetting how blessed his life was, he strove to give back in many ways. Jim joined other local Amherst graduates and his good friend, the late Coach Frank Navarro, to win the Rhode Island membership to the National College Hall of Fame, which continues to award yearly scholarships to RI athletes. He partnered with another good friend, the late Sen. James J. Federico, Jr., to spearhead fundraising for the Dialysis Center of Westerly. In addition to being a member the Finance, Police, Development and Hospital boards over the years, as well as, the Westerly Land Trust CCC committee. Both Jim and Jean were active members of the community and one of their greatest joys was working with the late George Utter to bring Shakespeare in the Park to Westerly.
He will be forever loved by his four children, Deirdre Crowley Seidenberg and husband Michael of Philadelphia, PA, James Crowley of Ashaway, Joy Zerbarini of Westerly and Amy DePerry and husband Josh of Stonington, CT and seven grandchildren, Isabelle and Rosalind Seidenberg, Brock and Graeme Crowley and Alex, Leah and Lucas DePerry. Jim will be always be cherished by his brother Raymond Crowley and wife Geraldine of Holyoke, MA and their children, Maureen Crowley Bizyak, husband Brent, children Gavin, Garrett and Grady, Tim Crowley, wife Julie, children Jack and Julie and Brian Crowley, wife Amy, children Chloe and Brianne.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday from 4-7pm at Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home, 59 Spruce St., Westerly. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10am on Wednesday at St. Pius X Church, 44 Elm Street, Westerly. There is no procession to church from the funeral home. Burial is private. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Westerly Land Trust in Jim’s memory. For online condolences, please visit www.gaffneydolanfuneralhome.com