At the Dinner on Saturday 2nd April 2016 in support of Suffering Christians Worldwide we will be offering patrons the opportunity to donate to the James Foley Legacy Foundation. Following Diane Foley’s address at the Dinner, Corrine Smith, a retired Healthcare Executive and family friend of the Foley’s will give a short overview of the works currently undertaken by the Foundation.
James’s Obituary from legacy.com mentions the establishment of the Foundation. There is also a link to the Foundation website at the end of the article.
ROCHESTER – James Wright Foley was born on Oct. 18, 1973 in Evanston, Ill. He was the first born son of Diane and John Foley of Rochester.
Jim grew up in the beautiful town of Wolfeboro. He was the oldest of five children. After graduating from Kingswood High School in 1992, he chose to go to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. At Marquette, he made lifelong friends and was challenged to serve the voiceless. From 1996 to 2000, he served four years with Teach for America, teaching in inner city Phoenix, Ariz.
Jim was drawn to writing and completed an MFA program in writing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2002. While in Massachusetts, he taught unwed mothers to help them achieve their GED and later in Chicago, taught English to inmates at the Cook County Jail.
By becoming a photojournalist, Jim was able to merge his interest in writing with his compassion for the poor, disadvantaged and suffering amid conflict. Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Illinois granted him this opportunity. He began in Iraq, then Afghanistan, then Libya and finally Syria. Jim was detained by Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan regime in 2011 for 44 days; but finally released.
In January of 2012, Jim began what would be many trips in and out of northern Syria as a freelance photojournalist. He began cautiously, but then gained confidence as he met kind and hospitable Syrians, who offered him their generous hospitality. Jim was last home in October 2012 to visit and celebrate his birthday. Our last phone call with Jim was one week before he was kidnapped on Nov. 22, 2012, in northern Syria. Our family never heard his voice again.
Jim was executed by ISIS on Aug. 19, 2014, in the Raqqa region of Syria.
He is survived by his beloved maternal grandmother, Olga M. Wright, his parents, and his siblings Michael, John, Mark, and Kathryn Foley. Three beloved nephews are Michael, Matthew, and Jack, and his niece, Rori. Other close family include Rita and Fernando Colina, Robert and Paula Foley, Martha and William Jackson, William and Sally Foley and 11 cousins. He is pre-deceased by his cousin, Patrick and his paternal grandparents, John and Marilyn Foley of Plymouth, and his maternal grandfather, Elliot A. Wright of Keene.
Services: All friends of Jim are cordially invited to his final Memorial Mass in Celebration of his Life to be held on the occasion of his 41st birthday, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. His celebration will take place at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish, 189 North Main St., Rochester.
A memorial Mass will begin at 10 a.m., followed by lunch in the church hall and tributes to Jim.
The Foley family has established a James W. Foley Legacy Foundation in memory of Jim to keep his passions for freedom and education alive.