Obituary: Audrey B. Foley

Rev. Audrey B. Foley, a 20-year Claremont resident, died October 9, 2016. She was 98.

Born in New York, Audrey was salutatorian of her high school class and later graduated cum laude from St. Lawrence University, class of ‘39. Before the Second World War, she was a social worker for the New York State Welfare Department. During the war, Rev. Foley served as a lieutenant (junior grade) at the War Office, Department of the Navy. She later taught English and developmental reading for 28 years. Her specialty was helping troubled students who had difficulty reading.

Rev. Foley earned her first master’s degree in 1961, the same year she was elected Grand Matron of the Eastern Star. Throughout her life, she loved music and directed three choirs. The young adults were her favorite group. For many years, she faithfully attended performances at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera. She also found time to satisfy her love of traveling and enjoyed making slide shows to share all she’d seen and learned in other countries with her family.

Audrey greatly enjoyed watching sports on television, with her loyalties shifting with her geography. While living in New York, she rooted for the Mets. Once she moved to Los Angeles, she became an Angels fan. She also was an avid reader, and particularly enjoyed romance novels.

After retiring from teaching, Audrey became a fully ordained Lutheran minister in 1978 at age 70. This was a time of much resistance to women clergy and Audrey was one of the first. She was, as her generation liked to say, a “Can Do Girl.” The last 20 years of her life were spent in Claremont. She loved being near the universities and continued to be active at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Her relationship with her six grandchildren was very special to her. Audrey was also very proud of her four great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her two sons, John and Michael, and their families.

A service will be held Tuesday, October 18 at 10 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1700 N. Towne Ave. in Claremont. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.


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