Donald R. Foley passed peacefully on October 19, 2018 surrounded by his wife and children at his home in Jupiter, Florida, at the age of 96. He was born October 8, 1922, the son of Mary Grace (O’Neil) and Walter W. Foley of Jamaica Plain, Mass.
He was a proud graduate of Boston Latin School where he excelled in his studies of Latin, French, and German and made many lifelong friends. He then went on to the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., following in his brothers’ footsteps, and added yet another classical language to his resume, this time Greek.
In 1943, he answered the nation’s call and was off to Midshipmen’s School in Chicago, where he was commissioned into the US Navy. He was trained as a navigator, assigned to the <USS Shelby> and shipped out to the Pacific Ocean theatre. He resigned his commission after the war and exited the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant. Patriotism and service were values he instilled in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
On September 4, 1948, he married Marie T. O’Brien and they moved to Newton Centre, Mass. After Mr. Foley was transferred to the New York office of Donahue Sales Corp., they settled in Rye, where they spent 25 years, raised their family, and were members of Manursing Island, Apawamis, and Winged Foot Golf clubs.
Mr. Foley’s career encompassed numerous executive positions, first with Donahue Sales, next, assisting with the implementation and rollout of the New York State Lottery, then on to financial advertising with E.B. Wilson. He also sat on the boards of National Securities & Research and Smith Barney Mutual Funds. Those positions were some of his most fulfilling professionally.
Don and Marie Foley had one more move to make. They chose to retire to Jonathan’s Landing in Jupiter and joined JL Golf Club where old friendships were rekindled and new ones blossomed.
One of Don Foley’s greatest attributes was his love of people and what started out as simple business associations often grew into lasting friendships. He was fiercely loyal, loving, and steadfast as a friend.
An avid sportsman, he was an accomplished racquets man and golfer.His avocations included The New York Times crossword and a voracious appetite for technology.
Above all was family. His love for his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren was immeasurable. The man his family knew as “Four Feathers” was a caring and loving man. “With the flash of his smile and twinkle in his Irish eyes, he could make you feel as if you were the only person in a filled room,” they said. “He loved to be the center of attention, and was quick with a joke, a spectacular storyteller and family historian. Relationships were the essence of his life. In every social circle he’d come across, the title ‘Mayor’ was invariably bestowed upon him. He never asked for it; it was given. He was first to console, congratulate, or heap accolades on all those around him. He was chief cheerleader, the ear that always listened and the calm in your storm. His friendship was unconditional.”
In addition to his wife of 70 years, Marie Foley, he is survived by his seven children, Sarah J. Foley of New York City, Joan Brennan (Patrick) of Merchantville, N.J., Marie T. Parsons (William) of Locust Valley, N.Y., Karen M. Freeman (Eric) of Jupiter, Fla., Elizabeth C. Foley of Boston, Mass. and Old Greenwich, Conn., Janet E. Foley of Denver, Colo., and Donald R. Foley II (Lisa) of Darien, Conn. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his beloved brothers, Walter and Eugene, as well as his infant son Peter.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, November 17 at St. Jude Catholic Church in Tequesta, Fla. Interment will be private, and he will be laid to rest at New Calvary Cemetery in Mattapan, Mass. A funeral mass will be held at a later date at St. Ignatius of Loyola in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Memorial donations may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.