Tom Foley, age 90, of Philip, South Dakota, died on Monday, July 17, 2023 at Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip.
Thomas ‘Tom’ Park Foley was born June 20, 1933 at the family home, in Haakon County, South Dakota, the third of five children to Patrick and Eva (Park) Foley. Tom grew up on the ranch 36 miles northwest of Philip. He attended rural school in Philip along with catholic school in Rapid City for a few years. Tom later attended Wall High School graduating in 1951.
After graduation, Tom enlisted in the US Army and specialized as a radar technician. After his honorable discharge in 1955, he returned to the ranch northwest of Philip to help his dad and brothers on the ranch.
In 1963, Tom met Ann Fitzgerald from Hillcrest Heights, Maryland who accompanied her sister, Jean, and husband Carl (Tom’s brother) on a trip to South Dakota. Tom was quite smitten with Ann so before her return to Maryland, they took a tour of the Badlands and Skyline Drive. That excursion led to many hand-written letters, a growing relationship, and eventually their wedding on May 16, 1964 in Maryland. Tom made sure to re-create their first date with an annual trip through the Badlands on Mother’s Day. It was easier to take six kids to the Badlands each year versus going to Skyline Drive.
Tom and Ann spent the next 22 years on the ranch northwest of Philip raising their six kids. During that time, Tom was involved in numerous community activities like being a leader of the Milesville Rangers (1977-1983), donating a calf to the Black Hills Stock Show in 1974 (the 4-H Club foundation of South Dakota), being an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, all while being the patriarch of the ZN club. Tom’s kids, nieces, and nephews have many fond memories of experiences with Tom while hunting, fishing, riding horses, moving cows, branding, haying, and any other activities that needed done around the ranch. Tom has been a Life Member of the American Angus Association since 1965.
In 1986, Tom and Ann sold the ranch and moved into Philip. Tom continued to run cattle, custom hay, and sell real estate. Tom and Ann spent many hours supporting their children in their high school activities. Tom was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and taught religion class one year to a group of high schoolers where he encouraged them to attend the First Friday Devotion. Tom also helped to remove snow during the winter at the catholic church.
Over the years, Tom never quit finding something to do to occupy his time. This included fixing equipment with his sons, feeding calves throughout the winter months with the help of his sons and grandkids, playing cards at the card room and nursing home, putting puzzles together, and sharing his quick-wittedness and sense of humor with others. You could ask any of his kids or grandkids about the jokes he said and pranks he pulled. There was never a dull moment with Tom around.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years Ann of Philip; five children: Mark (Windy) Foley of Vermillion, SD Richard Foley of Philip, Steve (Staci) Foley of New Ulm, MN, Kim (Al) Kochersberger of Philip, Bob (Joan) Foley of Montevideo, MN; several grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren; one sister Nellie Kellogg of Standish, MI; a sister-in-law Mary Foley of Carmichael, CA: a son in-law Tom (Tanja) Burns of Henderson, NV; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Tom was preceded in death by a daughter Katrina Burns; three infant sons Paul, Nicholas, and Gorman; a son-in-law Jim Bouman: his parents; three brothers Jim Foley, Joe Foley, and Carl Foley: sister-in-laws Betty Foley, Marie Medved, Bev Foley, and two brother-in-laws Edward Fitzgerald and Robert Kellogg.
Visitation was held 5-7 p.m. with a Christian Funeral Vigil starting at 7 p.m. Friday, July 21, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip.
Christian Funeral Mass was held 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 22, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip with Fr. Grant Gerlach and Deacon Lloyd Frein officiating.
Christian Funeral Committal with military honors followed at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.
Cards and memorials may be sent to P.O. Box 460 Philip, SD 57567.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.