Marie Thérèse (O’Brien) Foley (March 27, 1926 – January 17, 2021) passed away peacefully on January 17, 2021 surrounded by her family. The daughter of Sara Ann O’Brien (née Green) and Frederick W. O’Brien, M.D., Marie was born and grew up at 465 Beacon Street, her family home, in Boston, MA. Marie was a graduate of Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart (1943) and Trinity College, Washington, D.C. (1947).
She spent summers in North Scituate, MA where she married Donald R. Foley on September 4, 1948. All their children were born at Saint Elizabeth’s in Brighton and Marie and Don raised their young family in the Boston suburbs. While in Boston, Marie was an active member of the Ace of Clubs, a women’s charitable organization founded by Rose Fitzgerald and was featured modeling with her three oldest daughters in “She Dresses for Her Life: Young Suburbanite Fashions” in the Boston Post in October 1954.
With a family move to Rye, NY in 1962, she became a member of the 18th Twig, a volunteer organization benefiting United Hospital and once her youngest child, Donald, was in high school, she began a successful real estate career with Jed Dolce Realty and Merritt Associates. Marie’s calm, clear headed advice when buying or selling a house was her hallmark; clients said real estate was not the same once she retired. Always athletic, her tennis skills made her the star of the 1966 Post Grape Nuts commercial featuring the Foley Family of Rye, NY (see below).
In 1985, Marie and Don retired to Jupiter, FL where, after raising seven children, she could devote time to golf again – winning the Ladies’ 9 Hole Championship at Jonathan’s Landing Golf Club in 1986. Their house sits on the 12th fairway; seeing the golfers go by, commenting on swings and duffs and the occasional wayward ball in the yard became a favorite pastime.
Marie found great strength in her faith and was a regular communicant through the years at St. Cecilia Parish, Boston, MA, the Church of the Resurrection, Rye, NY and St. Jude Catholic Church, Tequesta, FL. Unfailingly gracious and polite, Marie always put others first and cherished her family and friends, especially those made at Sacred Heart and Trinity. Throughout her life, the girls and boys from North Scituate held a special place in her heart. They would regale each other with memories of escapades at Scituate Yacht, Hatherly Country Club and Minot Beach.
Tales of a certain Woodie station wagon in the late 1930s with 6-8 pals hanging out the windows or riding the running boards at any given time always brought smiles and laughter. Her father was a renowned radiologist and her brothers, Fred and Dick, followed him in that profession. Marie was headed down that same path until, at Trinity, learning that science labs were held on Saturdays she switched her major to Economics.
Marie was predeceased by her parents, her brothers Frederick W. O’Brien, Jr., M.D. and Richard G. O’Brien, M.D., her husband of 70 years, Don, in October 2018 and her infant son Peter. She is survived by her seven children: Sarah J. Foley, Joan F. Brennan (Patrick), Marie T. Parsons (William), Karen F. Freeman (Eric), Elizabeth C. Foley, Janet E. Foley and Donald R. Foley, II (Lisa); 12 grandchildren: Kate Bradbury, Shane Brennan (Zohray), PJ Brennan (Kristen), Ted Brennan (Kate), Mary Beth Stiles, Brigid Austin (Andrew), Kevin Brennan (Ashley), Molly Woltjen (Thomas), Christopher Freeman, Tyler Foley, Sgt. Sean Foley USMC and Dillon Foley and was “Super Nana” to 21 great-grandchildren.
When it is again safe to gather, Memorial Masses to celebrate Marie’s life will be held in Jupiter and Boston. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hope Rural School, Indiantown, FL, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or a charity of your choice.