Helen Foley, R.I.P.
Sad news from Worcester for the Irish Trad Community
Helen Foley, a backbone of the Worcester Irish Trad community, passed away on December 20nd. She battled cancer bravely with true grace for many years.
Tribute from the Community
Charlie O’Neill shared the following sentiments by email in telling us of Helen’s death,
“She meant so much to the traditional music scene here – but that was a mere fraction of her life’s contributions as a wife, mother, neighbor, friend. She talked with, touched, worked with, and interacted with thousands – but each of us received the same acceptance, interest, joy, love, and commitment of this extraordinary person. The world is truly a lesser place today. Helen came to the Fiddler’s Green session just two weeks ago! A fighter right until the end!”
Obituary and Funeral Arrangements
Helen T. (O’Sullivan) Foley, 76, passed away peacefully on December 20, 2019 at her home, surrounded by her loving family.
She was the beloved wife of 51 years of Paul V. Foley.
Born in County Offaly, Ireland, daughter of Patrick and Ellen (Cronin) O’Sullivan, Helen was, first and foremost, the love of her husband’s life, a nana, and the mother of six children, who adored her. In her spare time, between sips of tea and home-baked goodies with butter, she was a devoted friend to many, near and far. Helen lent her talents of camaraderie, dance and song to the Irish Club, the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Worcester St. Patrick’s Parade Committee. Not busy enough, she was also a very active member of Christ the King Parish (and previously of St. John’s Parish in Canton) and the lead voice of its choir for so many masses, funerals, and weddings that her voice will likely echo there for years to come. Because of their boundless devotion to family, friends and community, Paul and Helen were named co-Grand Marshals of the St. Patrick’s Parade in 2014. In her work (yes, she did that too), she worked for Aer Lingus in Boston, was a teacher’s aid in the Worcester Public Schools and was one of the very first and most beloved waitresses at O’Connor’s Restaurant.
She leaves behind her husband, Paul V. Foley; her children, Siobhan Foley of Reading; Ciaran Foley and his wife, Elizabeth of Brookline; Aileen Foley and her partner, Joanna Woodman of Watertown; Brendan Foley and his wife, Kristen of Pawtucket, RI; Neil Foley and his wife, Sharon of Mt. Vernon, NH; and Paul C. Foley of Worcester; also her brother, Timothy P. O’Sullivan of Rhode, County Offaly and sister, Kathleen Armstrong of Braintree; eight grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.
Helen’s family would like to thank Dr. Erica L. Mayer, Elahe Salehi, NP, and the staff at Dana Farber for the exceptional care provided to her during her illness and to the kind and compassionate staff of Hospice VNA in Worcester.
Visiting hours will be held on Friday, December 27th from 4:00pm until 7:00pm at the Callahan, Fay & Caswell Life Celebration Home, 61 Myrtle St., Worcester. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00am on Saturday, December 28th at Christ the King Church, 1052 Pleasant St., Worcester. Burial will follow in Saint Patrick’s Cemetery, Whitinsville. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be considered to the Worcester Hibernian Cultural Foundation, 19 Temple St., Worcester, MA 01604; The VNA Care, Fund Development Center, 199 Rosewood Dr., Suite 180, Danvers, MA 01923; or to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284.
Prepared by Maureen Conway, Secretary,