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James Joseph FOLEY

James Joseph FOLEY

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James Joseph FOLEY

FOLEY - James Joseph A US Navy World War II Veteran, longtime teacher and Buffalo Public Schools Administrator and a member of the Canisius College Sports Hall of Fame died December 27, 2020. Mr. Foley was born on March 25, 1927 in the family home at 42 Warwick Avenue, in Buffalo. He was the son of James J. Foley, Sr, who was born in Kinmount, Ontario, into a family of Irish immigrants who settled in Canada after service in the British Army. His mother was Margaret (Sheehan) Foley, who grew up in Buffalo's Irish First Ward. He was predeceased by four older sisters, Mary M. Haberer, Elizabeth Then, Frances A. Bralla and Rita A. McCarthy. Mr. Foley attended Blessed Trinity School and Burgard Vocational High School, enlisting in the Navy following graduation in 1945. He was a Seaman First Class and served as a "hot shell man" on the Destroyer Escort, USS Timbalier. He attended Canisius College under the G.I. Bill, graduating cum laude in 1951. At Canisius, he was twice a class officer, president of the Academia Debating Society, captain of the undefeated 1950 Cross Country team and captain of the 1951 Track team. Blessed with speed and endurance, Mr. Foley excelled in both cross country and track - a champion sprinter and middle and long-distance runner. His friend and teammate, the legendary WNY high school coach Bob Ivory, called him "the best runner to ever come out of Canisius." He wrote, "In track, Jim ran every event from the 100 to the mile. In most meets he would run six or seven events." His school record in the quarter mile stood for decades. He was inducted into the Canisius Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. He also served as a member of the Canisius College Alumni Board of Governors, the Di Gamma Honor Society and the James Demske Society. After college, Mr. Foley went to work as an accountant at Chevrolet, but he left the corporate world in 1954, because of a keen sense of idealism and desire to teach. He taught in Buffalo at Fosdick-Masten Park High School (now City Honors) and at Riverside High School. After receiving an MA in Guidance and Administration from Canisius College in 1960, he returned to his alma mater at Burgard to serve as a guidance counselor before moving on to Bennett High School as Assistant Principal. Beginning in the late 1960s and throughout the following decade, Mr. Foley was Director of the Human Relations Project for the Buffalo Public School System, an in-service training program designed to help teachers address the challenges of diversity in the classroom. The program was federally funded under Title III, and served school districts throughout Erie and Niagara counties, including the Diocese of Buffalo. Mr. Foley recruited and trained 18 teachers from the participating school districts to conduct in-service training workshops and classroom demonstrations. This was a path-breaking endeavor for its time, and Mr. Foley was for many years in demand throughout the eastern United States to hold large-scale teacher training seminars, drawing upon his innovative work in Buffalo. The program produced a Handbook for the Human Relations Approach to Teaching and two bibliographies. Mr. Foley retired in 1983. Mr. Foley was a great lover of life who worshiped the Florida sun and enjoyed skiing and tennis, singing, classical and popular music and the Buffalo Bills. His pride and joy in life were his two sons: Kevin, a champion runner in his own right and today a partner with the Wall Street Brokerage firm, Cantor Fitzgerald, and Jim, a career Foreign Service Officer and former U.S. ambassador to Haiti and Croatia. He was married for 47 years to Helen (O'Leary) Foley; he was survived by sons, James B. Foley (Kate Suryan) of Falls Church, VA and Kevin M. Foley (Dr. Donna Silbert) of New York City; and grandchildren, Bennett C. Foley and Claire M. Foley of New York City and Madeleine (Maddie) R. Foley of Falls Church, VA. A Memorial Mass will be held at Blessed Trinity Church, 317 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo, NY at a later date.

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