Mary Alice Ford Foley

Honored by:Her Family
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Mary Alice Ford Foley was born March 5, 1910 in Pottersville, Missouri. Following her mother's death when Alice was two weeks old, she was taken by her aunts to her maternal grandparents' home. They walked the five-mile journey carrying the tiny baby girl on a feather pillow. Though her health was questionable from the start Alice was to survive and thrive under the loving care of her grandparents who did their best and more in a difficult time.

As a young woman of 20, Alice was taken ill in her Missouri home. The town doctor told her concerned grandparents that if she did not soon improve her illness could prove fatal. Upon hearing this disturbing diagnosis Alice's older sister Jennie Anne Ford Perry traveled to Missouri to bring her north to her home in Ames for a second opinion. Jennie and her family resided then at the Iowa State College poultry farm. A tonsillectomy was soon scheduled and performed by an Ames doctor and Alice once again thrived.

While recuperating and extending her visit with her sister and family, Alice met and fell in love with her husband to be Michael J. Foley of Nevada, then employed at the poultry farm. Married on November 11, 1931 this strong and faithful union lasted over 50 years and produced twelve children--five sons and seven daughters. Descendants also include 33 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren. Mike and Alice raised their family in the Ames/Nevada/Colo area living and working on area farms until 1965 when they retired.

In 1969, they moved to their home in Colo in 1969. The reality of day to day life in their retirement years contrasted dramatically with what Mike and Alice had envisioned it would be. In 1965, just as they were preparing for retirement Mike was seriously injured in a tractor accident which left him with a weak leg and hip requiring the use of crutches thereafter. Together they faced each day drawing again and again on the deep and abiding faith that had been with them throughout life. Those around them witnessed no bitterness or resentment. Mike dealt as best he could with both the good and the not-so-good days. And Alice was there always there as she had been from the start. She was beside him as he continued to do for himself as long as that was possible. Then she cared for him with love and kindness until his death on May 16 1982.

Throughout Alice Foley's life those around her have witnessed a woman who always tried to maintain balance in her life. Long hard days of cooking cleaning laundry and caring for her family were sprinkled when possible with stolen moments here and there. When her children were young and demands both physical and emotional were enormous these "moments" were as brief as perhaps a short visit and a cup of coffee with a rural delivery man on his regular ice cream or bread route or just taking the time to sit and enjoy a letter from her Missouri home after the day's mail was delivered. And Mike and Alice always enjoyed an evening or Sunday afternoon visit with family or friends.

As time allowed, and as her children grew older and more self-sufficient, Alice's hands were often busy with one of many crafts she enjoyed. Among these pleasures were needlework, artificial and dried flowers and flower arranging, candlemaking, rughooking, quilting, furniture upholstering, tin-can decorations, gardening, preserving, reading, letter writing, and writing family memories.

Another facet of Alice's life has always been her love of games. Be it dice, marbles, dominoes, or cards, Alice Foley loves to play games--another example of how she innately maintained a balance in her life. By taking herself out of the here and now, making another "place to be", if only for a few moments at a time she taught by example that learning to mix play with work is to make the most of your life situation whatever that may be.

Toda, in her less active role of mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend, Alice continues to enjoy her life. On quiet days, she is content with a good book sometimes reading late into the night if sleep eludes her. She also enjoys her regular gatherings for lunch and card games at the senior citizens' center and attends mass regularly at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Always nicely dressed, she likes having a reason to select coordinated beads and earrings from her overflowing jewelry box (or shoes from her closet, another favorite of hers to "collect"). But more than the pretty things she wears what strikes people first and foremost when Alice Foley walks in, trusty cane at hand, is the genuine greeting and the warm and winning smile. Alice's greatest gift to those who know and love her is the deep and abiding faith in God that has carried her through and her positive outlook on life. She has always seen her cup as half-full, not half-empty. The following words by Mother Teresa have been included as a reflection on Alice Foley the woman the wife the mother the grandmother the great grandmother and the friend to all.

Spread love everywhere you go;

First of all in your own house.

Give love to your children,

To your wife or husband,

To a next door neighbor.

Let no one ever come to you

Without leaving better and happier.

Be the living expression of God’s kindness;
Kindness in your face,
Kindness in your eyes,
Kindness in your smile,
Kindness in your greeting. 


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"Alice Foley
Loving Caring
Wife Mother
Friend to All"