West Point Societies WP-ORG Services WP-ORG Home West Point Parents USMA Class Year Groups Greater West Point Family and Friends About WP-ORG

16041 Crowley, Edward Francis
August 06, 1922 - June 17, 1995



Published Assembly Jul '97

Edward Francis Crowley
No.16041 Class of 1946

Died 17 June 1995 at Bedford, Massachussetts, aged 72 years.
Interment: West Point Cemetery, West Point, New York

Ed Crowley was born 6 August 1922 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Always a good athlete, he graduated from Cambridge High and Latin School in 1939 and attended Boston, University from 1940 - 42 where he played baseball and hockey, his true love. He gained his appointment to West Point to join the Class of 1945. However problems with math caused him to be turned back to join the Class of 1946.

Cadet life was a natural for Ed. He excelled in every aspect except that the emphasis on math and science made academics difficult for him. Company mate Bernie Pankowski remembered: "Whenever we met socially after graduation, Ed would introduce me as the person responsible for his graduating with the Class of '46. I remember spending most nights in the sinks and Ed was my most faithful student in every subject I coached. It was really Ed's hard work on his studies that was responsible for his graduating." But it was hockey that saw Ed excel. He was the star of the Army team and was named captain of the team his last year. Ed graduated as a second lieutenant in the Infantry.

He married Rita Collins on 13 July 1946 in Winchester, Massachusetts during graduation leave. It was then on to Fort Benning, Georgia for basic Infantry schooling and Airborne training. Ed's first assignment was to Korea, but it was interrupted when he was selected to train with the US Olympic Hockey Team and compete in the 1948 Winter Olympics at St. Moritz. He stayed in Europe, assigned to the 26th Infantry first as a platoon leader then later he commanded K Company. The Crowleys returned to Fort Benning for the Infantry Advanced Course. Ed was then selected for Spanish training at the University of Madrid, earning an advanced degree form Middlebury College. From Spain, the Crowleys returned to West Point where Ed instructed in the Foreign Language Department. He served as Officer in Charge of the hockey team and helped coach the infielders on the baseball team.

West Point was followed by a short tour at Eighth Army Headquarters in Korea. Following a tour at the Boston Army Base, graduating from C&GSC and a year in the Pentagon, Ed was assigned to Attaché duty at the US Embassy in Madrid. The Crowleys returned once more to West Point where Ed became Executive Officer, Foreign Language Department. He again became OIC for the hockey team. In 1969, Ed became an advisor to the Vietnam Military Academy in Dalat. He retired from the Army in 1970.

After retirement, Ed became the Senior Vice President and Director of Purchasing and Marketing for Manning Fabrics in North Carolina. He used his fluency in Spanish to promote the international sector of the business, allowing him to travel extensively though out the world. Ed retired again in 1981. The Crowleys were at that time living in Cornwall, New York. In 1987, they moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Ed died 17 June 1995 from natural causes after several years of deteriorating health. He is survived by his wife, Rita; three sons, Ed, Jr., Kevin, and Brian; a daughter, Carol Ann; two brothers, John (USMA '42) and Robert; and two sisters, Mrs. John Galgay and Mrs. Edmund Cullen.

His loving wife, Rita, recalled the traits that made Ed special: "Ed was a true gentleman. He did not make a lot of noise, but in his quiet, efficient way he accomplished many great things. He had a dry sense of humor - a true Irishman. Ed was friendly. The children often swore he was running for office. His genuine interest in people often resulted in a 'you won't believe who I saw' as he ran into friends and classmates at airports all over the world. He always seemed to put other people's interests ahead of his own. He was a humanist before it was popular to be one."

It is almost impossible to put into words the things that made Ed Crowley special to so many people. Some of the comments from his friends show the depth of their feelings about him:

"He was truly one of the world's great gentlemen. I'll always remember his kindness and fairness when I was a plebe at West Point."

"Ed was not only a great athlete and a good soldier, but a fine man and loyal friend."

"Ed was a very special person and he had the knack to make other people feel special too."

"Ed was such a gentle man and such a fighter during his years of illness. Count me among a host of officers and enlisted men who held him in high regard as a professional soldier."

"What a true gentleman he was. I never saw him without a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. It was truly a gift to me to have known him."

"Eddie will always be remembered for the many outstanding qualities he possessed."

"I never knew anyone who didn't respect, admire and like Ed Crowley, and it was my great privilege to have known him and served with him."

These words from friends, fellow soldiers and classmates around the world depict a loving husband and father, a great patriot and soldier and a true son of West Point. It is fitting then that the Class of 1946 add the words that we all know would mean so much to our friend and classmate: "Well Done, ED; Be Thou At Peace!"

'46 Memorial Article Project and his wife, Rita

Personal Eulogy


 Email Feedback FEEDBACK 


Return Home