Mary A. Foley
Mary A. Foley, in Weymouth, formerly of Canton and Dorchester, January 31, 2021, at 94 years old.
Beloved daughter of the late Thomas J. and Barbara E. (Flaherty) Foley. Devoted wife of the late William E. Foley and mother of Mary M. Hynes (Joe, deceased) of Milton, Barbara A. Turley (Walter) of Easton, William E. Foley Jr. (Mary) of Scituate, Colleen M. Forrester (Gary) of Raynham, and Patricia F. Jones (Karl) of Grafton; “Nana” of Karen Vlasak (Scott); Joseph Hynes; Lauren Turley; Marie Turley (Owen Salerno); Cara Foley; Tess Foley; Gary Forrester (Kelly); Pamela Tobin (Michael); and Abby Foley; and “Gigi” of Casey and Nora Vlasak and Henry Forrester. Dear sister of the late Marguerite P. and Anne B. Foley.
Mary was uncommonly kind, unfailingly positive, and had endless reserves of energy. Her family was the center of her life.
She was born on November 6, 1926, in Dorchester, MA, to Tom and Barbara (“Abby”) Foley, both immigrants from Connemara, Ireland. From her father, she inherited her kindhearted and thoughtful demeanor; from her mother, her resilience. The middle of three daughters, Mary grew up with her sisters Margie and Annie on Fairmount Street. She attended St. Gregory Grammar and High School, graduating in 1944. It was at St. Gregory’s that she met her best friend, Jerri Leach (later Tirrell). Never the instigator, but always a willing participant, she joined Jerri for many fun adventures together over the course of their six decade friendship.
Mary met Bill Foley in 1941, two days before he joined the Navy. They exchanged letters throughout the war, and upon his return, Bill proposed on Mary’s 20th birthday. They were married at St. Gregory’s Parish on October 18, 1947.
Mary and Bill began raising their family in Dorchester as Bill started his career with the Boston Fire Department. Their family, which would grow to include four daughters – Mary, Barbara, Colleen and Patti – and one son, Billy, moved to Mary’s dream home on Marilyn Drive in Canton in 1960. Mary fully embraced the Canton community, making many lifelong friends, and cherished raising her children in the Canton School System. During these years, she also held several part-time jobs, including at Nexus Instruments and Gem Stores, where she was a top salesperson, while also volunteering at St. John’s Church.
Mary and Bill lived in Canton for nearly thirty years, before retiring in Merrimack, New Hampshire. After Bill’s death in 1995, Mary knew she wanted to return to her beloved Canton. She was rightfully proud of building an independent life for herself upon her return as a resident of Hagan Court and frequent visitor to the Canton Senior Center, especially enjoying the Tai Chi classes for many years.
In addition to being a devoted wife and mother, Mary embraced each new member as her immediate family expanded over the years. She was a dream mother-in-law to her daughter-in-law, Mary, and sons-in-law, Joe, Walter, Gary, and Karl. To her nine grandchildren, she was quite simply the best Nana anyone could ever ask for. Nana attended every school play and graduation, and was known to be an indulgent - and at times, slightly mischievous - babysitter. She was incredibly proud of all of her grandchildren and supported them, without judgment or reservation, in absolutely everything they did.
Mary was warm, generous, and fun loving. You couldn’t enter any of her homes without immediately having a drink placed in your hand and an offer of something sweet - cakes, cookies or her favorites, M&Ms and orange slices. She often expressed her love through her excellent cooking and baking, with her famous Irish bread that she would give to her children and grandchildren at holidays.
Though she will be missed dearly, Mary’s family is comforted that she was reunited with Bill on his 97th birthday. Her family is also incredibly grateful to the entire Dwyer Home community, who ensured Mary was well cared for in her final years.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Mass at St. John the Evangelist, Canton on Thursday at 10:00. Interment private. In remembrance of Mary’s life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to the Canton Food Pantry (https://www.town.canton.ma.us/193/Canton-Food-Pantry) or the Canton Senior Center (https://www.town.canton.ma.us/341/Council-on-Aging).