On Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, Thomas F. Foley Jr., loving husband, father, PaTom and friend, passed away at his home at the age of 71.
He was born Oct. 24, 1948, to Thomas F. and Pamela (Wyant) Foley in Waterbury, Conn., joining his older sister, Patricia, and beloved cousin, Rosalind Baxter. Tom was a proud graduate of St. Michael’s College in Vermont, where he made many lifelong friends. He remained active in its alumni association, serving as president and alumni representative to the College’s Board of Directors.
On Aug. 22, 1970, Tom married the love of his life, Bernadette Buczek. They celebrated their golden anniversary earlier this year. They raised twin daughters, Karin and Lisa. Tom and Bernadette lived in West Hartford, Conn., for 43 years before moving to Lewiston after retiring from the insurance industry.
He was a lifelong Democrat and worked on many national, state and local campaigns. He served on the West Hartford Democratic Town Committee for years and later the Nez Perce County Democratic Central Committee. He also hosted his own television show, “Democratic Discourse” on WH’s public access channel, with Bernadette as producer.
Tom was known for his love of music and his beautiful voice. He was a proud member of the choir at the Church of St. Peter Claver for decades and later the choir at All Saints Catholic Church. In retirement, he shared his time and talents with Gifts of Music, a charity providing instruments and music lessons to WH Public School students in need, even continuing his involvement from Idaho. Tom was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was proud of Knights’ work on behalf of children and families in continuing the tradition of its founder and fellow Waterbury native, the Rev. Michael McGivney, who was beatified only nine days after Tom’s death.
First and foremost, Tom was a proud and dedicated husband and father. He treasured his family and embraced every moment with them. From the moment they were born prematurely to the moment he died, his love and support of the twins was unparalleled, and he found great pleasure and pride in their many accomplishments. Later in life, he rejoiced in his role as PaTom to his granddaughters, Penny, Beth, Ellie and Evelyn, and grandson, Teddy.
Tom and Bernadette enjoyed traveling the world together. They loved to visit new cities, especially to cheer on his beloved New York Yankees. Tom was known for his quick wit, infectious smile and kindness. He made friends wherever he went and will be missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife, Bernadette; daughters, Karin (Adam) Seubert and Lisa (Steve) Margheim; brother-in-law, Robert Soderquist; sisters-in-law, Patricia (Dave) Nordling and Sherri Buczek; beloved grandchildren; nieces, Kimberly Curtin and Becky Garrish; and numerous cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Patricia (Foley) Soderquist; cousin, Rosalind Baxter; brother-in-law, Jack Buczek; and nephews, Christopher Nordling and Chris Buczek.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Nov. 21, 2020, at All Saints Catholic Church, 3330 14th St., Lewiston. Vassar-Rawls Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. A livestream of the funeral Mass will be available on the Vassar-Rawls website and Facebook page for those unable to attend in person. A memorial Mass at The Church of St. Peter Claver is planned for the future. Memorials may be made to the Walter Hawver Scholarship Fund at St. Michael’s College Gifts of Music or All Saints Catholic School.