9/29/1952 – 1/25/2020
Mary Ahern Crowley was born Sept. 29, 1952. She was the oldest of eight children to her parents, Francis Loyola Ahern and William Joseph Ahern. Her family lived in Kenilworth, New Jersey, but would spend summers on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Mary graduated high school in 1970 and attended Rutgers University.
Mary met her husband Bill Crowley in 1978 at a party on Long Beach Island. Bill was living in California but was back east visiting friends. Their summer romance blossomed, and when Bill returned to California, he asked Mary to come visit. Mary purchased a round-trip ticket, but immediately fell in love with California (and later Bill) and decided to stay. Bill and Mary were married in 1981.
Mary gave birth to her son Shaun in 1983, and her daughter Amanda followed in 1986. She loved her family fiercely and always encouraged them to live life to the fullest, pursue their dreams, and be the best versions of themselves.
Mary was selfless, giving and had tremendous generosity of spirit. Mary loved living in Carpinteria and embraced the opportunity to give back to the community. Some of the causes that were dearest to her were Relay for Life, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, Carpinteria Education Foundation and the California Avocado Festival.
One of Mary’s great loves was traveling. Her favorite place was Maui, where she enjoyed snorkeling, whale watching and watching the evening traditional torch lighting and cliff diving at Black Rock. She was thankful for opportunities to visit family in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida. Other notable vacations included trips to Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico, England, France and a few cross-country road trips.
Mary’s greatest joys were her children, Amanda and Shaun. She’d often find ways to speak of them in conversation, her pride and love pouring through. She loved participating in their lives, supporting them through their adventures and journeys. She loved spending weekends with them at the beach or taking them on spontaneous camping trips up the coast to Big Sur when they were children.
Mary was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2010, one month after her daughter had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Together they supported one another through the challenges of chemo and radiation. In 2011, both Mary and Amanda were in remission. Unfortunately, Mary’s cancer metastasized in 2014. Thanks to cancer research she was able to undergo treatments which helped her fight an incurable disease for another five years. On Jan. 25, 2020, Mary finally lost her battle with cancer.
A memorial service was held at Lions Park on Feb. 16, 2020.