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Mary Colleen Foley

July 16, 1936 April 25, 2021
Mary Colleen Foley
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Obituary for Mary Colleen Foley

Mary Colleen Foley, 84, of Bloomfield Hills passed away peacefully in her home on April 25, 2021. She was with her husband, the love of her life, Peter. Colleen was born Mary Colleen Ryan on July 16, 1936 in Sioux City, Iowa to Mary Clarice and John Ryan. She was the oldest of 4 children, loved her siblings and her role as the oldest sister. After moving to Mondovi, WI at the age of 9, Colleen graduated from Mondovi High school and was awarded a scholarship to Iowa State University. She led the Iowa State Marching Band for 2 years before leaving university to travel the world as a United Airlines stewardess.

Colleen met her husband, Peter Foley, in Chicago in 1960. They were married a year later and celebrated 60 years of love, laughter and passion together. She is survived by her beloved husband and her three children, Peter Jr., Mary Catherine “Katie” and Patrick.

Colleen, or “Coco” was also the adored grandmother to nine grandchildren: Mackenzie, Katherine, Jack, Patrick II, John, Meghan, Fiona, Kathleen, and Jack Ryan. Colleen’s greatest joy came from her love of her grandchildren. Colleen is also survived by her brother Steve Tanner and sister, Mimi Ward, and preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Roy Tanner.

Growing up, Colleen was always busy. She was a lifeguard, taught swim lessons and was a baton twirler which led to her college scholarship at Iowa State. She was an athlete. She played tennis, swam, skied and golfed. When her children were growing up, she encouraged them to play sports, drove them to every practice and never missed a game. She made scrapbooks with newspaper articles and pictures for her children.

Colleen loved nothing more than her family. She enjoyed swimming, arts and crafts, including painting birdhouses (an annual event), with her grandchildren. She loved attending their basketball and lacrosse games, tennis matches, swim meets and musicals. Colleen was very proud of her Irish heritage. She loved history and studied it voraciously. She always said she wished she could have been an archaeologist. She also read constantly and loved gardening. Her favorite place in the world was the beach at Hilton Head Island. She and Peter vacationed there with their children many times while they were growing up. She loved walking the beach and collecting shells. While they lived in Pittsburgh, they owned a log cabin near Seven Springs Ski Resort. Weekends were spent there with the children learning to ski in the winter and fly fish in the summer. It was a magical place for her children to grow up with. Colleen was larger than life. She loved to laugh and she did it often!

Visitation will be held on Sunday, May 2 from 2-6pm at Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, 1368 N. Crooks Road, Clawson, Michigan 48017.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, May 3 at 1pm at Holy Name Catholic Church, 630 Harmon, Birmingham, Michigan 48009.

Immediately following Mass, a reception for family and friends will be held at Patrick and Bonnie Foley’s house, 5363 Wayfind Lane, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48302.

Memorials appreciated to the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association at


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