Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Loving and vibrant, Joseph John Crowley ’49 had a legendary sense of humor. He liked nothing better than causing someone to laugh—or better yet, to believe one of his incredulous stories. The many who knew and loved him miss those fabulous yarns and infectious laugh. Joe was raised in San Francisco and attended Commodore Sloat Elementary School and Lowell High School. It was in San Francisco that he met the love of his life, Betty, whom he remained married to for 67 years. Joe attended UC Berkeley, the University of Texas at Austin, and SCU, playing varsity basketball throughout. His education was interrupted only by World War II, in which he served proudly as an officer in the United States Navy. As and exceptional athlete, he was honored to be part of the All-Navy basketball team, competing against other branches of the military, and as a result, entertaining and increasing the morale of his fellow service members. Following college, Joe worked as an engineer, and with his partner, soon opened his own company, Relco Insulation. After retiring from Relco, he spent the rest of his life with Betty in Sonoma and Reno, Nevada, with family always nearby. Of all his accomplishments, his family was by far the one of which he was most proud. He led his family passionately, and his wife, children, in-laws, and grandchildren loved him back just as fiercely. Joe passed away following a long illness, just one month after his beloved wife and lifelong partner, Betty. His four children, Karen Lauer (Dale), Denise Vessie (Craig), Joe Crowley (Lisa), and Kim Crowley survive him. He also leaves behind his eight grandchildren, Joshua, Danie, Lauren, Casey, Emma, Kaitlin, Jack, and Mia, as well as one brand new great-grandchild, Riley. He was predeceased by his brother and best friend, George David Crowley.