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St. Matthew's Church
Wednesday March 22nd, 2017

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John William Foley

Altamont- John W. Foley, 79, passed away on March 17, 2017 with his family by his side. He was a legend and icon of Altamont, NY for 60 years, fixing cars making them run better or faster. Born in his Altamont home, John quit school on his sixteenth birthday and worked for two years at Westfall Garage before opening his own garage at his parents' home. His parents put their home up as collateral and with help from his many friends, John Foley's Garage was born. Most people thought it wouldn't make it but due to word of mouth and his mechanical skills the business grew. Customers came from all over the Albany area. He worked non-stop for 60 years until his son, Sean took over the business when John was stricken with Alzheimer's disease. John had a quest for speed all his life. After many, many races on the roads in the area, he went into drag racing with his great friend Ron Abbott. There may never have been a Foley's Garage if he had beat Don Garlits in the early 60's. The speed of cars wasn't enough for John, he went on to fix and race speed boats. Even though John never mastered the art of swimming, he would hang over engines in the water to make them go faster. After that phase, John got into flying his own planes. His employees were his friends and these great guys worked tirelessly with him. In many cases, he used the barter system to show his customers his appreciation. He'll miss his vacation this year with his good buddy Sal Branciforte and his wife Lucy while he's on his journey to eternal life. John was predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Gertrude (nee Wormer) Foley; brother to the late Walter and Irene Foley. He is survived by his loving wife Diane Marie Foley (nee Frank), his children Lisa Marie Foley and Sean Michael Foley; grandson Tyler Maxwell; his brothers-in-law Joe Paraso and his wife Patti and Kevin Daigle and his wife Marilyn as well as four nieces and nine great nieces and nephews; Traci Bidwell and her son Adam and John's nurse Alex Childs were his guardian angels in keeping him safe and comfortable in his home while fighting the debilitating Alzheimer's disease. A funeral mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 10AM at St Matthew's Church, 25 Mountainview St. Voorheesville, NY 12186 ; interment to follow at Prospect Hill Cemetery. A celebration of his life will follow the interment at Smith's Tavern, 112 Maple Ave, Voorheesville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John's memory to Fisher Center for Alzheimer's, Research Foundation, 199 Water St. Floor 23, New York, NY 12073-0211 or The Community Hospice of Albany County, 455 New Karner Rd., Albany, NY 12205-3809


Prayers and blessings. What a great man. My mom was a faithful customer. She introduced me to this superior garage. Thank you. Sympathy Sincerely, JoAnn Kremler

JoAnn Kremler Mar 31 2017 12:00 AM

Sorry to hear about John passing. I will miss him every time I walk through the door of his garage, which is the place He loved the most. His smile and caring way was always there. My condolences to his family. Irving Mosher

Irviing Mosher Mar 22 2017 12:00 AM

Sean - sorry to hear about your Dad - great man - My Mom (Frances) always wanted to ride with me when getting something done to my car - hoping to see your Dad - Her & my Dad had been coming their for years & years & years & that is why I been coming for so many years - you & your Dad - an honest business that I can trust - may he RIP

Marilyn Miller Nardolillo Mar 22 2017 12:00 AM

Sean,and family.So sorry for your loss,A great Man,always willing to help,My thoughts and Prayers are with you all.Kathy

Kathy Perry Mar 20 2017 12:00 AM

Sending our love from your California cousins. So sorry for your loss. Love, Nancy, Tommy, Nick and Ali

Nancy Van Deloo Skewes-Cox Mar 20 2017 12:00 AM

Lisa, Sorry to hear about your Dad. I met him last year at the Niskayuna Flea Market. Sounds like he had a full life and loved the Don Garlits reference. Our thoughts are with you. Nancy & Dennis Kruegler Dunnellon, Florida

Nancy & Dennis Kruegler Mar 20 2017 12:00 AM

I am shocked to find Jon's obit. He was truly a kind man who always treated me to a smile. I am so sorry for your loss.

Peg cannell Mar 19 2017 12:00 AM

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Friends and Family Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM