Mr. Ermin William Crownley, B.S., M.A.Ed., Ed.S., PhD.ABD was born on March 20, 1937 to Mrs. Versie Scott-Crownley and Mr. Henry Charles Crownley in Clarksdale, Mississippi. At the age of six because of the inhumanity of segregation in the South and the promise of better opportunities in the North, Ermin’s family moved to Detroit, Michigan. They arrived in Detroit on the day of the 1943 Race Riots.
Despite the racial upheaval and barriers at the time, Ermin flourished. His triumph of the human spirit led to great successes during his lifetime. He attended Miller High School where he became an honor roll student, editor of the school paper, he earned athletic letters in Football in the position of Right Tack as well as Track and Field as a Shotput. In fact, Ermin set a new record for Shotput and was All-City in the sport. Ermin graduated from Miller High School in 1955 with full academic honors.
Ermin’s academic scholarship and athletic talents attracted the attention of several colleges and universities. He ultimately chose to attend the University of Michigan, where he became a proud member of Football and Track and Field Teams. As a Michigan Wolverine, he continued to strive for excellence in classroom and on the field. As a result of hard work through tremendous odds by 1961, Ermin had earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology, Master’s Degree in Education as well as two athletic letters from the University of Michigan.
After graduating from the University of Michigan, Ermin began to break down the racial barriers of the 1960s by becoming the first African American Teacher at Albion High School. He was one of the most talented educators in the State of Michigan, which garnered the attention of several districts throughout the state, including Highland Park and Mount Clemens.
In 1971, Ermin became one of the first African American school administrators for the Mount Clemens district. During those years, Ermin was Vice Principal of George Washington Junior High School, he later became Vice Principal of Mount Clemens High School and finally he was named Principal of Martin Luther King Elementary School. Also, in 1985, just a few months after having one of three lifesaving open heart surgeries to correct a severe birth defect, Ermin led a successful strike as Union President. He got better wages and benefits for the Teachers and Administrators in the district. Ermin retired after a 30 year career in Education and worked another 10 years in the corporate offices of United Air Lines.
Throughout his outstanding career, Ermin earned several awards from the Miller Alumni Association, University of Michigan, as well as numerous education organizations and districts. He was inducted into the Miller Hall of Fame. He became a 300-bowler winning several awards and participated in the Senior Olympics where he medaled in bowling.
Ermin also continued to pursue his Education and earned a Specialist in Education and completed all of his classes with straight A’s in pursuit of a Doctoral Degree. However, because of his heart condition, he was unable to complete his dissertation. Despite the obstacles that were placed before him, whether it be race or health.
Ermin triumphed over adversity. Not only was he an excellent scholar, athlete and educator, he was an outstanding and loving husband to Mrs. Dolores Crownley for over 46 years. Ermin was the greatest father to Ms. Alicia Crownley and Mrs. Christina Scott, who preceded him in death. Ermin passed into the afterlife on October 22, 2020 after a long battle with a Cardiac Birth Defect. He is survived by numerous loving friends, family and relatives.
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