Paul Crowley

Obituary of Paul Crowley

The Honorable Paul William Crowley, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle, died at home on Monday, September 24, 2007 after an 18 month battle with malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. He was 57 years old. Paul is survived by his devoted wife of 37 years Diana, his daughter Meredith Crowley and her husband Eric French and their daughters Alessandra and Liliana of Chicago Illinois, his son Matthew and his wife Elizabeth and their son Owen of Milton Massachusetts, and his son Edward of Randolph Massachusetts. He also leaves behind his brothers Michael and his wife Judith and their sons, Peter and his wife Martha and their son, and Barry and his children. He leaves his sisters, Joan Kelly and her husband Thomas and their daughters, Elizabeth Graeber and her husband Geoffrey and their children, Sheila Hayes and her husband Peter and their children, Cathleen Anderson and her children, Colleen Rinkel and her husband John and their daughters, many cousins, and several great nieces and nephews. He was the son of the late Michael Francis Crowley and his wife Elizabeth Thornton Crowley. A proud graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Paul was a student activist and lead campus opposition to the war in Vietnam. Inspired by his successful student activism, Paul sought public office following graduation and in 1981 he was elected via special election to the Rhode Island General Assembly to represent District 100 (now District 75) in Newport. He held that seat for 27 years until his death. As a RI State Representative, he was a tireless advocate for the citizens of Newport and the State of Rhode Island. During his lengthy political career, he was instrumental in revitalizing Newport's economy by establishing the Newport County Convention and Visitors Bureau, which he chaired for many years. Paul was also devoted to helping the state's disadvantaged students and was a leading proponent of education reforms that touched the lives of countless children. He remained an active legislator until his death. This past spring he was at the forefront of the coastal homeowner's insurance crisis, for which he was nationally recognized. He was a member of the Newport Democratic City Committee, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Newport Lions Club, the Newport Taxpayers Association, Founder of the Newport Irish Heritage Commission, the Rhode Island State Democratic Committee, Past Chairman of the Newport County Tourism and Convention Authority, the Committee on Education and Job Training of the National Conference of State Legislators, Past President of the Shake-a-Leg Foundation, Friends of Morton Park, the Preservation Society of Newport, the Newport Historical Society, the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, the State Investment Committee, Past Chair of the Executive Committee of the Eastern Regional Council of State Governments, the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education, Deputy Chair of the Rhode Island House of Representatives Finance Committee, Vice Chair of the Separation of Powers Committee, the Committee to Establish a Permanent Education Foundation Aid Formula, Chair of the Permanent Commission to Assess the Accuracy of Hurricane Modeling Relative to Homeowners Insurance, Grand Marshall of the Newport Saint Patrick's Day Parade - 1992, and he was named Legislator of the Year by the Rhode Island School Counselors Association in 2004. Paul was the co-owner and operator with his brother Peter of LaForge Casino Restaurant and Crowley's Pub, a business which has been in the Crowley family since 1964. His family expresses their deep gratitude to the outstanding medical professionals that provided Paul with their support, expertise, compassion and care especially Dr. Sara Russell of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Dr. F. Stephen Hodi of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. David F. McDermott of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Dr. Orest Zaklynsky of Newport. In lieu of flowers and in order to help future melanoma patients, the family would greatly appreciate donations be made in Paul's name to Dr. Stephen Hodi , Melanoma Oncology Research, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 10 Brookline Place West, Floor 6, Brookline, MA 02445-9924. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, September 27, 2007, at 10:00am, at St. Augustin's Church, Carroll Ave., Newport, RI. Burial at St. Columba Cemetery, Brown's Ln., Middletown, RI. Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, September 26, from 3:00-8:00 pm at the Colony House, Washington Square, Newport, RI. **During visitation on Wednesday, parking will be available at the Gateway Visitors Center, America's Cup Ave., Newport, with Viking Tours providing transportation to and from the Colony House for anyone who wishes to attend.**
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