Exeter, N.H. — John Thomas Foley, 94, died July 3, 2012, at Exeter Hospital. He was born Jan. 9, 1918, in Medford, Mass., the son of the late Martin J. and Anna A. (Brett) Foley. A resident of Exeter for the past four years, he grew up in Medford and Arlington, Mass. He also formerly resided in Maryland, Kentucky, Venezuela and Maine.
John graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, and from Boston University with a master’s degree in business administration. During World War II, he served his country in the U.S. Army.
He was employed for 22 years with Creole Petroleum Corporation in Venezuela as an accountant, a community development manager and a computer programmer. He was active in the community, where he coached his son's youth baseball team, was Santa Claus for his daughter's ballet class, and served as a Boy Scout leader. John was an enthusiastic student of astronomy, built his own telescope; and wrote a column called "Stargazer" for the English language newspaper. He was also an accomplished amateur photographer, assembled a darkroom and developed his pictures.
After retirement from Venezuela, he was the business manager for the USS Constitution Museum in Boston, spent summers with his wife on their sailboat cruising the New England waters and eventually settled in Rockland. There John and Eileen built a retirement home where their four children and seven grandchildren were frequent visitors. In Rockland, he was active in Rotary and Red Cross, and continued to enjoy sailing with his wife and visitors.
John was greatly interested in the NASA mission to Mars and was preparing to give a presentation on the subject. He was interested in the world around him, keeping up with current events and new scientific advancements. A dry sense of humor and quick wit made John a favorite among family and friends.
John is survived by his wife of 67 years, Eileen (Bradley) Foley of Exeter, N.H.; three daughters, Susan McCann of Portsmouth, N.H., Janet Foley of Lynn, Mass., and Christine and husband, Robert Benny, of Wellesley, Mass.; his son, John Foley Jr. and wife, Heather, of Darien, Conn.; seven grandchildren, Jay McCann and wife, Sara, Kristin McCann, Herbert Mayo and wife, Tracy, Heidi and husband, James Zenyuh, Leanne and husband, Matthew Carpenter, Hannah Foley, and John Foley III; three great-grandchildren, Helena Zenyuh, Quinn Zenyuh and Avery Carpenter; his sister, Catherine Cusack of Swampscott, Mass.; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his son-in-law, Roland McCann; and brother-in-law, Francis Cusack.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 14 at 1:30 p.m. in the Great Bay Room, 7 Riverwoods Drive, Exeter, N.H. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the American Red Cross, 2 Maitland St., Concord, NH 03301. An online guest book is available at brewittfuneralhome.com.