STOCKTON SPRINGS and BANGOR – Esther Lillian (Whitman) Crowley, 91, a resident of Stockton Springs and living at Maine Veterans Home, Bangor, with her husband of 72 years, passed away March 14, 2013. She was the wife of Nathaniel “Nat” Crowley Sr. She was born April 11,1921, in Dover-Foxcroft, the daughter of Fernald and Florence Whitman.
Esther attended Foxcroft Academy and the University of Maine, Orono. While at Foxcroft Academy she won the Maine State High School Public Speaking Championship, was a New England finalist, and competed in the nationals in California. She was the mother of 10 children and held positions as the director and chef of institutional food services at St. Joseph’s School, Lewiston, and the University of Maine at Fort Kent. During World War II she proudly spun wool in a factory in Dover-Foxcroft that made military uniforms. She was the redheaded darling of many of Nat’s football teams providing many team dinners. She was an accomplished cook and crafts person, serving as the arts and crafts director for Lewiston Recreation Department. While her husband served in the Maine Legislature, she was known as one of the “Balcony Beauties” and was active in local Democratic politics.
Esther is survived by her husband of 72 years, Nathaniel “Nat” Crowley Sr.; and eight children and their spouses, Nathaniel Jr. and Julie of Hampden, Michael and Joanne of Stockton Springs, Roger and Louise of East Montpelier, Vt., Christopher and Paulette of Lewiston, Elanna Farnham and Willard of Brewer, Timothy and Mary of Caribou, Patrick and Cindylee of Bangor and Constance Bunker of Amherst, Mass. She is also survived by 25 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by two daughters, Kathy and Gordon Fuller of Hallowell and Anita and Lloyd Christie of California; and by a great-granddaughter, Mackenzie Crowley of Hermon.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Thursday, March 21, at St. Paul the Apostle Parish, St. John’s Catholic Church, 207 York St., Bangor. The family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments in the parish hall after the service. Gifts in her memory may be made to Maine Veterans Home, Unit E, 44 Hogan Road, Bangor, ME 04401. A service of Brookings-Smith, Bangor. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.