There is less laughter in the world following the passing of Richard William Foley on August 12, 2019. Rick died at home, surrounded by family, following a brief illness. He was born on November 26, 1950, in Downers Grove, Illinois, to Viola (Hobart) and Richard D. Foley, and grew up in Bay City, Michigan. It was at T.L. Handy High School in 9th grade algebra class that Rick met Cassandra Mae Brown, whom he married on August 19, 1972, following their graduation from the University of Michigan.
Rick and Cassie then moved to Oscoda to teach on Wurtsmith A.F.B. In 1974, Rick began teaching 8th grade Language Arts at Meridian Junior High in Sanford. He loved junior high students and made his classes fun with jokes, magic tricks, and songs. He was proud to be a teacher there for 30 years until his retirement in 2004. Rick served as a contract negotiator for the Meridian Education Association and was union president for 12 years. After retiring, Rick served his community by volunteering at the Sanford Food Pantry and as a driver for Meals-on-Wheels for over five years. He was recognized recently as Senior Services Volunteer of the Month. He was a life-long member of the United Methodist Church and served on many committees at the Sanford UMC. Rick lived by words he learned from his father: always do more than expected. As a proud alum, Rick loved the University of Michigan! He enthusiastically cheered their team successes on the field or court and bemoaned their defeats. He also enjoyed the Detroit Tigers and Lions, in spite of their often disappointing results. Rick found pleasure in completing crossword puzzles, listening to A Prairie Home Companion, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, and classic rock music, and watching any TV show that made him laugh.
Rick was very proud of his family and tried to make sure they were happy. He will be deeply missed by his wife of nearly 47 years, Cassie (Brown) Foley and by his daughter Jessica Sue (Duane) Acton, of Midland, by his foster daughter Mandy Rodriguez, of Battle Creek, by his grandsons Brennan and Tyler Rodriguez; by sister and brother-in-law Maureen and David Greenstein, and by sister-in-law Marcia Foley. He is also survived and loved by Cassie’s siblings Larry, Rhonda, Leslie, and Steve Brown and their families. Rick will be fondly remembered by nieces and nephews Dan Foley, Shelli Thomas, Tim Foley, Steve Foley, Kathy Socier, Kim Greenstein, Kelly Hutchison and their families, who loved Uncle Rick dearly. He was preceded by his parents and his beloved older brother Dan Foley.
Those who wish to make a memorial donation in honor of Rick may consider Midland Area Community Foundation, 76 Ashman Circle, Midland, Michigan 48640 where a scholarship honoring him will be set up. Others may wish to honor his memory by volunteering their time as a Meals-on-Wheels driver or in another capacity at Senior Services.
A service to remember Rick’s life will be held at Ware-Smith-Woolver Funeral Home in Midland on Wednesday, August 21 at 11:00 am. Visitation with family members will be held from 4:00-8:00 pm on Tuesday, August 20, and for an hour before the memorial service.
Anyone who knew Rick will remember his magic tricks, his silly jokes, his distinctive laugh, and his humorous approach to life. To keep his legacy alive, we offer this favorite:
Why did the chicken cross the road?
To show the raccoon it could be done!