Michael F Crowley 11/8/18-2/4/05
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Michael Francis Crowley, my father, died February 4, 2005 from heart failure. He suffered a heart attack last Monday. He decided against excessive medical treatment. He said: "I'm eighty-six, I've had a wonderful life. I want to be with Bet. I just want to be next to her." He passed away peacefully in his sleep.

He was born in Newport November 8,1918. He was the son of Michael Crowley of Adrigole Co.Cork, Ireland. His mother was Margaret Mary Harrington of Eyeries, Co. Cork, Ireland. They met and were married in Newport at St. Mary's church on November 9, 1911. Their first child was John and their second was Lillian. Michael died on October 16, 1918 at the age of 31 years and 9 months. Margaret gave birth to Michael twenty-four days later.

He married the love of his life Elizabeth Stanislaus Thornton in Newport. Together they raised nine children, four boys and five girls. They had twenty-five grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren. There are two more due this year.

He served in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II. Following the war he and David Jenkins established Vet's Stone Mill Taxi. Co. 847-0244 (called that number a lot when I was a kid). He "entered" the restaurant business when he purchased the "The Snack Bar" on Farewell Street. In 1964 he purchased and renovated the La Forge Casino Restaurant. Several years later he purchased Christie's Restaurant.

He traveled to Ireland twice. The first time with my mother, uncle John, my sister Sheila and Diana and myself. He met his first cousin, also Michael Crowley, at the home farm in Adrigole. The second trip came after my mother passed away. We celebrated Thanksgiving in Ireland with relations and friends. There were over 80 for dinner, including 38 of us from Newport. That evening after dinner we pushed the furniture back and rolled up the carpet. We sang and danced to the music of Riobard O'Dwyer. We took a picture of all the Michaels present. In the center were the three first cousins: my father, Michael Crowley of Adrigole and Michael Harrington of Eyeries. It was a night he, nor I would ever forget.

He was a very good man. He thought of his mother as a saint. His love for his wife was most clearly seen in how he took care of her before she died. He was a tough hard working man who wasn't afraid of taking chances. Only he could be his boss. His love for his children was unwavering. He delighted in the birth of every new grandchild and great grandchild. He welcomed all the husbands and wives into the family.

He was a Red Sox baby. He was born a few weeks after they won the World Series in 1918. He lived to see them "reverse the curse". He watched all the games, especially the great comeback against the Yankees. When we were kids he bought us blue and red silk Red Sox jackets and took us to Fenway Park to see Ted Wiliams play.

Now he is gone. So as a generation passes along a new one is being born. The Crowleys will be around for a long time to come...both here and in Ireland.

Paul Crowley
February 4, 2005

I almost forgot. Very important. He always voted Democratic.

Calling hours are Monday Feb 7th, 3 to 7 at the O'Neill-Hayes funeral home, Spring Street, Newport. The funeral Mass is Tuesday Feb. 8th at 10:00 at St Joseph's Church, Broadway, Newport.

From an email by Paul Crowley - February 5, 2005