Family First, Second, and Third
At home, surrounded by his loving family, John Michael Crowther, age 52 of Wrentham, MA, passed away peacefully on June 17th after a valiant 5-year battle with carcinoid cancer.
It should come as no surprise that John was surrounded by his family because, for John, Family came First, Second, and Third. It was virtually impossible to chat with John without his referencing his lovely wife Chris and his three children, Katie, Colleen, and Sean. He never tired of regaling his listeners with the Crowther Family Cape Cod vacations and the athletic / academic exploits of his children. Always so easy to talk with, John put the "breeze" in shooting the breeze.
But what made John unique is his ability to broaden his "family" to include his community members, business colleagues, and Wrentham-area sports parents. John wasn't just a devoted husband and doting father; he was a wonderful son, brother, cousin and uncle, a loyal friend, a trusted confidante, a motivational coach, and a passionate fan. John always "had your six" because being a "Friend of John" meant you had a friend for life. What a blessing. What a force!
John's passions were never more evident than when he was coaching youth lacrosse in Wrentham, rink-ratting at the Foxboro Sports Center, holding court at Mass Premier basketball, or road-tripping and tailgating across the Northeast with his children's travel sports teams. He was always a voice of reason who kept referees honest with his infamous "That's Terrible!" holler after a bad call, or his encouraging "Shoot Overhand!" reminders to young lacrosse players seeking his guidance and mentorship. Just seeing his kids step onto the field, ice, or court made John's day. And any "game day" at the Crowther household became an all-encompassing expression of unconditional love, competitive spirit, and unrestrained exuberance.
Invariably, the culmination of the Crowther Family sports season occurred every Memorial Day weekend during the NCAA National Lacrosse Championships. This 3-day extravaganza represented the quintessence of John. Family road trips to either Foxboro or Baltimore, epic tailgates, tall tales, and effusive love of lacrosse permeated the weekend. And of course, John was in the center of it all, magnetically attracting family, friends, and many strangers into his infectiously enthusiastic lacrosse lovefest.
When John wasn't sharing his passions with his friends and family, he was building a very successful career as a biopharmaceutical executive at Johnson & Johnson, Cubist, Cempra, and Melinta. Starting in sales, John broadened his career into sales management and then marketing. But it was in sales training where John had his greatest impact, building a legion of followers who benefitted from his pithy advice and avuncular coaching style. It's not an exaggeration to say that over 500 biopharma sales reps can attest that they are better reps-and better people-because they worked with John.
Growing up in the Albany, NY area, John had a stellar academic and athletic career at Columbia High School in East Greenbush, NY. He followed his lacrosse passion to Michigan State (Go Green! Go White!), before changing course and finishing his undergraduate studies at Johnson & Wales in Providence, RI, where he majored in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management, earning membership in the "Golden Quill" Honor Society.
John spent his first few years at Marriott Corporation, traversing the US in a variety of positions. During one stop in Colorado, John met the love of his life, Chris. From there, Chris and John's love story included stops in San Francisco, Connecticut, Virginia, Florida, Rhode Island, New York and ultimately, Wrentham. Chris and John enjoyed 25 years of marriage building a Crowther Family to remember.
Without a doubt, their relationship formed a bedrock that will forever sustain the Crowther Family legacy of love.
John was preceded in death by his father John, the patriarch of the Crowther family. He is lovingly survived by his wife Chris and his children Katie, Colleen and Sean of Wrentham, MA; his mother Marilyn of East Greenbush, NY; his brother Jeff, his wife Ilene, and their children Jake and Abbey of Tampa, FL; his sister Jen, her husband John, and their children Maeve, Jack, Molly and Maddy of East Greenbush, NY; his brother-in-law Mark Mastandrea and his wife Janea of Santa Cruz, California, Mark's three daughters Nikki, Rosie, and Tara; and countless family members and close friends that have all had a significant impact on John's life.
A visitation will be held on Friday, June 26th from 4:00pm to 8:00pm at the R.J. Ross Funeral Home, 135 South Street, Wrentham, MA 02093. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, June 27th at 9:00am at St. Mary Catholic Church, 130 South Street. Interment in Wrentham Center Cemetery will follow the service. Friends and family are invited to responsibly celebrate John's life that afternoon at the Crowther home beginning at 1:00pm.
Due to limited seating in light of the pandemic, we regret that the funeral Mass will not be open to the public. However, all are invited to participate as it will be streamed live at https://youtu.be/djDvqS68xRA
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the John Crowther Lacrosse Scholarship Fund at https://www.gofundme.com/f/john-crowther-lacrosse-scholarship-fund.
All funds will benefit male and female college-bound lacrosse players from the greater Wrentham-area who exhibit character traits and values modeled by John, a man who made an indelible impact on all who knew him.
The John Crowther Lacrosse Scholarship Fund will benefit male and female college-bound lacrosse players from the greater Wrentham-area who exhibit character traits and values modeled by John, a man whose passion for lacrosse was infectious.
Award recipients will display humility, leadership, selflessness, work ethic, and a true understanding of the concept of team-before-self.
For those who wish to contribute to a separate fund to help defray the costs of John's medical care, please click on this link to access a separate GoFundMe page.
Every once in a long while someone comes into your life and treats you like you are the most important person in the world. John has been one of those rare people. Thanks in advance for your love and support.
An online guestbook may be found at rjrossfuneralhomeinc.com.