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Columbia Missourian

William Foley, 74, enjoyed singing, softball and basketball

By Tess Malone
August 14, 2012 | 10:30 p.m. CDT

The Memorial Baptist Church gospel quartet will be missing a familiar baritone this Sunday.

William Daniel Foley, known to family and friends as Bill, died Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. He was 74.

Mr. Foley was born on June 27, 1938 at Brown’s Station to Oscar E. Foley and Aleta M. Anderton. He graduated from Hickman High School in 1956.

The 1960s were pivotal years for Mr. Foley; he married Carol Ann Robertson in 1960 and established Foley and Sons Construction Co. early in the decade. Mr. Foley also served in the Army National Guard as a surveyor from 1960 to 1966.

A homebuilder by trade, Mr. Foley constructed single-family homes and churches throughout Columbia. It’s hard to travel around Columbia and not think he must have built something in the area, said his son, Eric Foley.

“People in the construction industry knew him. They had a pretty high regard for dad as to the way he treated people,” Eric Foley said. Mr. Foley worked up until his death; his final project was replacing the windows in Memorial Baptist.

Mr. Foley’s passion was singing, said Jim Foley, his brother. Growing up, he sang with his family in The Church of God and the Hickman High School Choir. Throughout his life, he sang bass and baritone in church quartets.

“He always enjoyed singing and passed it on to me. I’m a choral director,” Eric Foley said. He remembers the family making up their own quartet, with Mr. Foley singing bass, Carol Ann Foley singing alto, Eric Foley singing tenor and his daughter, Vicki (Foley) Bach, singing soprano.

His comradeship extended outside the family as well, where he coordinated city basketball teams. He was a gregarious person who would talk to anyone. Eric Foley remembers him walking up to any tall person on the street and asking, “Hey, do you play basketball? Because I’m putting a team together.”

Mr. Foley both coached and played in city softball and basketball leagues into his 60s. “He loved to play, loved the competition, loved the sport and kept playing as long and as best as he could,” Eric Foley said.

“Bill was a kind, caring person who served God, loved his family and was an excellent brother. He will be greatly missed,” Jim Foley said.

Mr. Foley is survived by his wife, Carol Ann (Robertson) Foley, of Columbia; his son, Eric Foley, and his wife Kathy of Kansas City; his daughter, Vicki (Foley) Bach, and her husband, David, of Columbia; his two grandsons, Alan and Ryan Foley, of Kansas City; his brothers, Harold Foley of Ashland, Jim Foley and his wife Charlotte, of Columbia; his sister Anita Adams and her husband Glenn of Calif.; and many nephews and nieces.

Visitation will be held on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bach-Yager Funeral Chapel, 1610 N. Garth Ave. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Baptist Church, 1634 Paris Rd. A graveside service with military honors will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery, 1217 Business Loop W.

Supervising editor is Ann Elise Taylor.