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Gerry Crowley, 1944 - 2023
Commodore, Sailor, Volunteer, Friend
January 2, 2024

Obituary and life story submitted by his friends, Larry & Roberta Jones. He passed in early December, 2023.

or over 15 years, Gerry was our loyal friend. He was a very skilled and active sailor who taught us a lot about sailing and the maintenance of sail and power boats. As well as being a companion on numerous cruises organized by SCOO (Sailing Club of Oriental).

Gerry Crowley
Gerry Crowley.

In 2008, Gerry was the SCOO Commodore. During his term term, Gerry, with his then wife Cheryl, wrote and compiled the first SCOO Handbook, and the first SCOO Members Directory.

Together, Gerry and Cheryl hosted many memorable parties and dinners at their home at the end of Whittaker Creek. The St. Patrick’s Day parties were the best.

Gerry and the crew of RiRa pose with an award in 2011.

His sense of humor, along with a generous dose of cynicism, made him fun to be around. His Boston accent and Irish heritage made him the brunt of many good-humored jokes, which he took in stride.

Circa 2015, Gerry was the first Chair of the Oriental Harbor Waterfronts Committee.

He graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy with a degree in (Nuclear) Engineering. He spent several years in the Merchant Marines and traveled the world. Gerry was also an active member of his Alumni group, which held annual reunions.

RiRa comes in first at the 2011 Leukemia Cup. Gerry is at the rail, John Bloom at the helm, and Cheryl is celebrating the win.

Gerry worked at nuclear power plants owned by Florida Power & Light, plus the construction of the Clinton, Illinois nuclear power plant.

“HOME OF THE DAMN BOAT” read the sign near the front of his house. The ‘damn boat’ was RiRah, a 40ft Rhodes Yawl. He maintained the boat to a high standard, doing all the engine, electronics, and rigging work himself. He was a very skilled carpenter, mechanic, and electrician.

Gerry and Cheryl often raced her, but rarely won. It never bothered him; he just liked being on the water with friends.

Gerry Crowley
Gerry at the helm, circa 2011.

His favorite race was the one with no rules (The Regretta Regatta). He was the organizer for several years running and made many interesting prizes for the dubious winners.

RiRah’s wood main mast broke in a windstorm around 2018. Gerry hired Joe Clay to help design and build a Canadian Spruce replica of the original mast. Gerry planned to step the new mast this coming spring.

Gerry Crowley
Gerry Crowley and the newly made mast for RiRa.

Gerry was actively involved in several groups around town. He was a member of the woodworker’s group the built the 13 Optis used to start the first Youth Sailing School in Oriental. He volunteered at the Pamlico County Library. And he was also a member – and a talented one at that – of the Semi-Marching Kazooligans, participating in numerous performances in Oriental’s parades.

Consistent with his Boston Irish roots, Gerry was a fan of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey and Guinness Stout. In fact, his cat was named Guinness.

Gerry (center) and the Semi-walking Kazooligans.

Gerry was always ready to help Roberta and me with boat projects and maintenance, preparing and securing our boat for hurricanes, and repairing damage to our New Bern antique mall stall following Hurricane Isabel.

Gerry is survived by his brother, his daughter and grandson, and his friends who loved him.

Posted Tuesday January 2, 2024 by Allison DeWeese

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