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Walter Foley
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Iowa City

Walter James Foley, 83, died peacefully Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, at home surrounded by his loving family.
Walter James Foley was born in Chicago, on June 29, 1933. He was the last of eight children born to Lawrence and Catherine Foley. Foley did not finish high school, but he earned a graduate equivalency degree while serving in the Korean War. Foley obtained his bachelor's degree from Chicago Teachers College, a master's degree from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois in 1964.
Foley started his career as an assistant professor at Chicago State University in 1964. A year later, he was named the director of the Iowa Educational Information Center at the University of Iowa. Two years later he was promoted to associate professor. Three years later he was promoted to the rank of professor. He served as the director of Student Development from 1971 through 1973. He returned to the College of Education and taught administrative education until he retired in 2003.
During his career as a professor, Foley took pride in his ability to teach and particularly enjoyed mentoring doctorial students. He served on hundreds of thesis and dissertation committees, 78 as chair. He spent countless hours working with Korean and other international students and twice spoke at the Korean National University. He served as a mediator and arbitrator for the Public Employment Relations Board and was known for his dispute resolution acumen throughout the state. His students knew him by his favorite phrase, "It all depends."
Foley is survived by Mary Joan (McTigue), his wife of 60 years; and by five of his six children, Jeanne Foley and her children, Catie and McKenzie Jerman; Cathy Byrne (Tom); Thomas (Dana Drape) and their children, Ryan, Tyler and Ethan; Michael (Mary Power) and their children, Molly and Joanie; and Megan Foley-Nicpon (Jamie) and their children, Danny, Connor and Grace.
He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, and his beloved daughter Joannie.
He was a faithful parishioner of St. Mary's Catholic Church and a devoted husband and father. He was known for his quick smile, twinkling blue eyes, keen Irish wit and uncanny resemblance to Paul Newman.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, at Lensing Funeral and Cremation Service, Iowa City, where a vigil service will be held at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at St. Mary's Catholic Church with Father Steven Witt officiating. A luncheon will follow in St. Mary's Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Mary's Catholic Church, the Regina Foundation or Iowa City Hospice.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Posted on Wednesday, 17 August 2016