Marie Therese (Kreuper) Crowley
September 21, 1928 - May 28, 2014
Marie Therese (Kreuper) Crowley, loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, chemist, teacher, civic volunteer, friend to many, and lifelong resident of the San Gabriel Valley, died of natural causes in Arcadia, CA, on May 28, 2014 at the age of 85.
A native of Alhambra, Marie was the daughter of a carpenter and a homemaker. She was born at Queen of Angels Hospital in Los Angeles, CA, to Alfred Frederick Kreuper of St. Louis, MO, and Helen Anna (Asman) Kreuper of Terre Haute, IN. Her three siblings were Francis (Fran), John (Jack), and Paul (died during birth). Marie's aunt, Sister Clarissa (Marie) Asman, Sisters of St. Francis, was a major influence in Marie's life. Sister Clarissa arranged for her to attend Stella Niagara Seminary in Niagara Falls, NY, at the age of 6, when Marie's mother fell ill in childbirth.
Marie later attended All Souls Catholic School in Alhambra and Ramona Convent High School in Alhambra (Class of 1946). She then attended Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, graduating with honors in 1950 with a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics. Marie was the first person in her family to attend college. She was a member of the Kappa Gamma Delta sorority, and paid her way through college by working several jobs, including working as a sales clerk at the Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.
After graduation, Marie worked at Aerojet in Azusa (data reduction). She married Charles (Paul) Crowley, Jr. of Alhambra on 9/29/51. The couple lived in Alexandria, VA for 3 years while Paul served in the U.S. Army at Ft. Belvoir, VA. During this time, Marie worked at the U.S. Dep't. of Agriculture headquarters in Washington, D.C. (agricultural chemist). The Crowleys returned to San Gabriel (Oak Lane) in 1955. Marie then worked at Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL) in Pasadena (laboratory chemist). Her work at JPL was performed in advent of the Jupiter-C rocket and America's first satellite, Explorer I, in 1958. She later taught Chemistry, History and English at San Gabriel Mission High School.
Marie and Paul moved to San Marino (Melville Dr. and Winston Ave.) in 1961, where Paul later became a City Councilman and Mayor, and where Marie raised their two children. An active civic volunteer, she was a member (and often treasurer) of the following organizations: San Marino (SM) Tennis Club, SM Historical Society, SM Girl Scouts Troops 436 and 439, Crown Guild, Assistance League of Pasadena, Christ Child Society of Pasadena, Auxiliary of the Pregnancy Help Center of the SGV, Ladies of Charity of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, USC/Norris Cancer Center and Hospital Auxiliary, Luminaires, Nine O'Clock Players, the Old Mill Foundation, the Immaculate Heart College Alumni Assn., Ramona Convent Alumni Assn., the Huntington Library, and San Marino Unified School District PTA and PTSA. Marie was also a Catholic CCD teacher, Little League scorekeeper, Cub Scout Den Mother, and Eagle Scout mother. She was a volunteer for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Marie and Paul were longtime parishioners of Saints Felicitas & Perpetua Catholic Church in San
Marino, and were members of the San Gabriel Country Club. Athletically, she enjoyed tennis, golf, running, parasailing and bridge throughout her life. She took several supplemental academic courses at CSULA and Pasadena City College, the last at the age of 83.
Marie served as the corporate treasurer for the 82 year-old family engineering business, the Charles P. Crowley Company of Irwindale, CA, until shortly before her death. She belonged to several stock and bond investment groups, and was known for her love of mathematics and her financial acumen. She also travelled to all 50 U.S. states, all of the Canadian provinces and territories, every country in the western Hemisphere, and more than 100 countries worldwide during her life.
Marie is survived by her son, Jon Charles Crowley and daughter-in-law Carolyn (Wagner) Crowley of San Marino, grandsons Charles Paul "Chip" Crowley III and Patrick Leahy Crowley, and granddaughter Kelly Claire Crowley. She was preceded in death by Paul, in 2012, and her daughter, Claire Marie Crowley, who died during her senior year at Wellesley College at the age of 22 in 1979.
A private Catholic funeral Mass will be held for the family, with burial in Avalon, CA. A public remembrance of Marie's life will be held on Monday 6/30/14 at 6:00 PM at The Old Mill, 1120 Old Mill Road, San Marino. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Claire Marie Crowley Memorial Art Fund, 750 Winston Ave., San Marino, CA 91108.