KENNEBUNK - Dr. Charles L. Crowley, Lt. Col, USA, Retired, passed away on Tuesday, January 27, 2015. He was born in Whitneyville, ME, July 3, 1923, son of Charles L. and Anne Geary Crowley.
He graduated from Machias High School, attended Washington State Normal School (Machias), for 2 ½ years, when he entered the Army Air Corps, and served during WWII, in the 8th Air Force, in England.
Following the war in ETO, he was selected to attend Biarritz American University, established by the Military, in Biarritz, France, to provide continuing college work to some whose military service interrupted their college programs.
He graduated from the University of Maine, Orono, BA, in Zoology. Following a year at Tufts College Medical School, he transferred to the New England College of Optometry, O.D. Degree, Boston.
After five years private practice, in Bridgton, ME, as an Optometry Officer, he served in the Army Medical Service Corps, in the US and Europe, until his retirement in 1976, to Kennebunk.
Throughout his career, Colonel Crowley displayed the highest level of professional skill, administrative acumen and dedicated devotion to duty. Because of his vast personal experience, knowledge and managerial ability, he was a very capable administrator and supervisor. He actively encouraged all members of his staff to pursue further education. By precept and example, he guided the actions of his staff to advance the quality and quantity of services provided in the Optometry Service.
His military awards include the Army Commendation Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Nastional Defense Medal, (1OLC), Armed Forces Reserve Medal, six Overseas Service Bars and the Legion of Merit.
When he retired from the Army, Dr. Crowley was given Life Membership in the American Optometric Association and the Maine Optometric Association.
He was a communicant of St. Martha's Catholic Church. He was a member of the Sigma Nu College Fraternity, a prior member of the Webhannet Golf Club, an active sponsor of The University of Maine Foundation, the Retired Military Officers Association, the YMCA, and a daily swimmer, one mile, for the past 35 years. Also, he enjoyed reading, walking, skiing; and with his wife and single, traveled extensively throughout the US and many foreign countries. They visited all 50 states, principal sites, of five continents, around the world and flew the Concorde at Mock II, twice the speed of sound, at 60 thousand feet and could appreciate the Curvature of the Earth. In his 85th year, with son, Brian, he visited the Antarctica Continent, "the trip of a lifetime", which completed his stepping on seven Continents, of which he was very grateful and satisfied.
He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 39 years, Julia Graves Crowley, in June of 2000; by his parents; his brothers, John, Robert, Frederick; by his sister, Margaret C. Smith; by his sisters-in-law, Myra Graves Houle and Lorane Graves Dupuis; and his brothers-in-law, Richard Graves, Proctor Houle and Richard Dupuis.
He is survived by his brother-in-law, Robert B. Smith of Saco; by his self-proclaimed son, Brian Johnson, wife Kristen and family of Kennebunk and Dexter, ME, whose faithful, caring kindness to him and responsible maintenance of the property, allowed him to live in his own home; and by well loved nieces and nephews: in ME, Sarahlynda Smith, Stephen Dupuis Family, Jon Dupuis Family; in MA: Deborah Smith Mercurio and husband, Michael Mercurio, Christopher Smith; in CT: Elisabeth Houle, Peter Houle and wife Christine, Mark Houle and wife Laurel, Hollis Graves and wife, Chris; in NJ: Bradford Graves and wife, Mary; in PA: Linda Graves Pearson and husband Todd Pearson; in VA: Julia Dupuis Blakely and husband Stephen Blakely; in TX: Nancy Crowley Garrison and husband Geoffrey Garrison; in CA: Kathy Crowley McDaniel and husband Michael McDaniel, David Graves and wife Maxine Graves.
Surviving also are grand and great-grand nieces and nephews and special cousins, Martha, Kate and Glyn Williams, So. Portland, ME and Rita H. Lyons of Waltham, MA, as well as his Advisor, Executor and caring friend for many years, Peter E. Robbins and Family of H.M. Payson & Co., Portland, ME.
There will be no visiting hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Holy Spirit Parish, St. Martha's Church at 11AM on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 with Fr. Thomas M. Murphy.
A gathering will follow the service at the Coastal House, 2128 Post Road, Wells, ME.
Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery in the spring.
Should friends desire, memorial donations may be made to Holy Spirit Parish, St. Martha's Church, 30 Portland Rd. Kennebunk, ME. 04043, in Dr. Crowley's memory.
Arrangements are in care of www.bibberfuneral.com