TEWKSBURY — On Saturday, Feb. 22, the family and friends of Joseph M. Crotty celebrated his life in Winthrop, where he had lived all his life.
However, Crotty, through the kindness he showed and the strong sense of community he inhabited, lives on through recent fundraising for donations to both Winthrop High School and Tewksbury Memorial High School.
Crotty’s family asked for donations to Winthrop’s Viking Pride Foundation in Joe’s name, instead of flowers. The Viking Pride Foundation was established in 2004, by Withrop High School Alums. The foundation was set up, according to their website:
“To support co-curricular activities for students and their families, as well as safe inclusive spaces for these activities.”
The Viking Pride Foundation was founded in 2004, when Winthrop High School was going through hard financial times. As summarized from the Viking Pride Foundation website: A property tax and reduction of state aid caused the school to raise user fees to $325 per student, for each co-curricular activity, for each season. In addition, teachers were let go, programs were cancelled, and there were school wide reductions in funding and program quality across the board.
The Viking Pride Foundation has been integral in lowering these costs, and funding quality co-curricular programs.
Crotty was a proud alumni of Winthrop High School, graduating in 1947 after pausing his education after his sophomore year to serve in World War II. In a recent Facebook post from his nephew Michael Hennessy, he wrote:
“Joe felt so strongly about serving his country during WWII he talked his parents into signing his papers to enlist for active duty in the Navy — AS A SOPHOMORE IN HIGH SCHOOL.
“Joe enlisted and served on a battleship till the end of the war one year later. He returned home and went back to Winthrop High School till graduation. After graduation, Joe returned to the Navy for an additional year... then home and off to college.
“Not that we needed one more reason to love and respect our friend Joe.... but I thought it needed to be said.”
In addition to the donations to the Viking High Foundation, Crotty’s family is also putting together a donation for Tewksbury Memorial High School, where he was a history teacher and vice-principal for 30 years. In that same Facebook post, Hennessy explains:
“All the money collected will be donated in Joe’s name to the Tewksbury High School. We will work with the high school to appropriate the funds in a way that will keep Joe’s memory alive.”
Any donations can be sent on Venmo to the account @Joe-CrottyDonation
Crotty was a brave patriot, stern but kind vice-principal, and was a dedicated member of the Winthrop and Tewksbury communities. It is with sincere hope that his spirit and legacy live on in the hearts of the lives he touched, as well as in Tewksbury as a whole.