John Stephen Foley, born on December 26, 1931, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family, on October 2, 2020. He was married to the love of his life, Mary, for nearly 61 years.
John was born to John and Muriel (Kennedy) Foley in New York City and grew up on 48th Street in Astoria, Queens. He studied under the Carmelites at St. Albert’s Junior Seminary in Middletown, New York. He graduated from New York University in 1956 with a BS degree in Aeronautical Engineering and settled in Manchester to begin a 38-year career at the United Technologies Research Center.
He embraced life with great humor and loved all without reservation. His infectious laugh touched so many, and his caring and grateful heart is a legacy he passes on to all those whom he loved. Nothing brought him greater joy than his family.
He is survived by his loving wife, Mary, and his six adoring children, Mary Jeanne Mitiguy (Christopher), Sean Foley (Janice Digiovanni), Joseph Foley (Imelda O’Reilly), Teresa Foley, Peter Foley (Stephanie), and Catherine Geib (Andrew).
Affectionately known as Gpa, he passes on his love of life and family to his devoted grandchildren, Julia Callan (Jason), Patrick (Madison), and Ryan (Alecia) Mitiguy; Charlotte, Oona, Roswell and Josephine Foley; Hugh and Maeve Geib; and his great grandchildren, Jack and Jace Callan.
John’s purpose in life was to be of use. He felt deeply that we are called to serve; to act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). He lived his beliefs through service to his Church and the promotion of social justice.
When not with family, John devoted his time to his faith and community. He was a parishioner of The Church of the Assumption, served on the parish council and as Eucharistic Minister; participated in Cursillo, Jewish-Christian dialogue, Small Christian Communities, and Just Faith; and was a dedicated volunteer with the Manchester Area Conference of Churches (MACC).
He served on the Democratic Town Committtee, the Manchester Interracial Council, the Manchester Human Relations Commission, and as an instructor with the Race Relations Program at Manchester High School. He truly loved his Irish heritage and was selected Marshal for the Manchester St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1997.
John is predeceased by his parents, his sisters, Elizabeth O’Gallagher and Patricia Furey, and his brothers, Vincent and Joseph. He is survived by his brother Timothy and sister Mary Martin and many brothers and sisters in-law and nieces and nephews.
The Foley family would like to thank Dr. Eyone Jones and his surgical team and the entire nursing and caregiving staff of 3-North at Manchester Memorial Hospital, the Visiting Nurse and Health Services of Connecticut, and Hartford HealthCare Independence at Home for the wonderful care provided in his final days.
Calling hours will be held on Monday, October 5, from 5 to 8 PM at the John F. Tierney Funeral Home, 219 West Center Street, Manchester. Family and friends will gather at the funeral home on Tuesday, October 6 at 8:30 AM, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at The Church of the Assumption, 27 South Adams Street, Manchester, CT at 10 AM followed by the burial at St. James Cemetery, Manchester, CT.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the MACC Food Pantry, PO Box 3804, Manchester, CT 06045-3804 or the Hatian Health Foundation, 97 Sherman Street, Norwich, CT 06360.