James Joseph Foley, 82, of Murrieta, CA, died Monday May 7, 2018 at Loma Linda UMC.
James (Jim, as he was known to all) is survived by his wife and best friend of almost 57 years, Annemarie (McNally) Foley. Their bond of marriage has been a constant witness and model of love, faithfulness, and friendship for generations of family and friends. Jim is also survived by their children and spouses, Anne-Marie and Marcia (Puckett) of Moreno Valley, CA; Patricia of Cleveland, OH; James Jr. (Jay) and Karen (Patterson) of Las Vegas, NV; and Philip and Nathania (Frishman) of San Leandro, CA. He gained great joy from his role as “grandpa wonderful” to his grandchildren Caitlin Foley, Teagan McNally and Daschel McNally. Jim was affectionately known as the wise and wonderful “UJ” (Uncle Jim) to his 32 nephews, nieces and their families. Jim was predeceased by his parents Charles and Mary (Markley) and siblings Catherine Sisko, Mary Sidoti and Charles Foley, Jr.
Jim was born on December 20, 1935 in Worcester, MA to Charles and Mary (Markley), the youngest of their four children. He was exceptionally proud of his Irish heritage and loved to learn of and share the history of Ireland. He graduated from Classical High School in Worcester, MA. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the US Air Force to serve his country during the Korean War. Upon the completion of his service, he returned home to Worcester and completed his education at Northeastern University in Boston in 1963 with a degree in Electrical Engineering.
Jim’s career began at Space Sciences, Inc. in Waltham, MA where he worked on lunar and space programs. During that time, he earned three patents for his development of space capsule heat shields. In 1968, he went to work for Grumman Aerospace in Bethpage, NY developing Lunar Roving Vehicles (LRV) sent to the moon on the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions. In 1969, Jim and his family relocated to Santa Barbara, CA when he was transferred by Grumman to collaborate with Raytheon Electromagnetic Systems Division in Goleta, CA. When he was asked to return to Long Island, Jim and Anne chose to stay in Santa Barbara and he went to work for Raytheon. He worked on a variety of defense programs including radar and missile projects. He retired from the position of Program Manager in 1995.
Jim and Anne were parishioners at San Roque Catholic Church where they developed life-long bonds of friendship with many they call “family” to this day. Jim was engaged in his parish and involved in Eucharistic Ministry, Parish Council, Parish Festival Committee and Marriage Encounter. He also supported his children’s schools (San Roque, Marymount Academy and Bishop Diego High School) by serving on the Dad’s Club and Board of Directors.
After retirement, Jim continued to pursue his love of learning at Santa Barbara City College, taking courses in History, Art and Geology. Some of his favorite school stories where those of the Geology field trips and taking Art classes with his nephew Mike. In 2001, he realized he had taken enough units to earn two Associates Degrees. He took great pride in having his whole family present to watch him walk across the stage, receive his diplomas and, most importantly, have a graduation party!
Jim and Anne enjoyed travelling, particularly to Ireland, but also Europe and other destinations. They took a trip to Paris, France to fulfill a childhood dream of Jim’s. With their children, they traveled to Hawaii, Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and a good portion of the United States by travel trailer.
Upon Anne’s retirement in 2002, they relocated to Murrieta, CA where they added many more friends to their circle. Again, Jim pursued his love of learning, this time it was woodworking at Mount Palomar College in San Marcos. Anne and all of Jim’s children have magnificent pieces of furniture that he designed and built including tables and chairs, a curio cabinet, a nightstand and a variety of decorative tables. Jim was very involved in the Temecula Valley Newcomer’s Club (including a stint as the only male president in club history!) and enjoyed lots of trips to local events, card playing groups, cultural outings, holiday events, and, of course, the parties.
Although Jim’s mobility became limited in his last few years, he maintained his humor, sparkle and pursuit of learning. While at Murrieta Health and Rehabilitation during the past several months, he made new friends with whom he shared his knowledge and love of life.
All will miss him greatly and will remember Jim as soulmate, dad, UJ, OD (Official Dad), best friend, Bleu, teacher, mentor, builder, life-long learner, storyteller, artist, quirky grandpa, wise counselor, and man of cunning wit!
Services will be Tuesday May 15, 2018
St. Catherine of Alexandria, 41875 C Street, Temecula, CA 92592
Visitation beginning at 9:30 and Funeral Mass at 10:30
Committal Service at 12:45 at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside, CA 92518
Reception to follow at 2:30 at The Colony Clubhouse, 40710 Avenida Florita, Murrieta, CA 92562
Beyond his family and faith, the greatest love of Jim’s life was education. In lieu of flowers, a donation to an educational institution, foundation or scholarship for a needy student would be deeply appreciated.