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Saltchuk People

The Crowleys bleed Foss green, even though they share a name with ‘that other tugboat company’

Four generations of Crowleys, probably exceeded only by the Foss family in the number of relatives at the company over the years, have taken a never-ending ribbing about the fact that their last name is the same as their employer’s chief competitor.

By Bruce Sherman- This article first appeared in the February 2014 issue of Towbitts, the official publication of Foss Maritime

“We hear it all the time,” said Monte Crowley, currently Puget Sound sales manager. “They joke, ‘What’s a Crowley doing at Foss?’”

Current members of the Crowley Clan standing next to a Foss tugboat from left, Chris Wolf, Jim Crowley, Monte Crowley and Greg Phillips
Current members of the Crowley Clan at Foss are, from left, Chris Wolf, Jim Crowley, Monte Crowley and Greg Phillips, and in the separate photo, Tyler Crowley

While their name is synonymous in the maritime industry with “that other tug company,” the Crowleys of Foss insist they are not related to the competitor’s owners. And most who know them would say they all bleed Foss green.

“I can’t think of any place I’d rather be,” said Jim Crowley, Monte’s first cousin who is a senior customer service coordinator in Seattle.

Other family members currently at the company are Tyler Crowley, a customer service representative and Jim’s son Chris Wolf, director of customer service, who is married to a cousin of Monte and Jim, and Greg Phillips, another cousin, who is a tractor tug captain on Puget Sound.

Monte’s and Jim’s grandfather Tom Crowley was the first in the clan to join the company, in the early 1940s, and retired as a captain in 1977.  In a double coincidence, Tom shared both his first and last names with the founder the company-that-shall-not-be-named.

Tom’s two sons, Ray and Duane (Jim and Monte’s fathers, respectively), also are retired Foss captains, as is another cousin, Willie Morrasse.