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Obituary: Dr. Michael Foley, 63, of Arlington

Foley died on Dec. 11, 2013.

Michael Foley. Photo credit: Keefe Funeral Home
Michael Foley. Photo credit: Keefe Funeral Home

The following is from the Keefe Funeral Home.

Michael Thomas Foley, MD, of Arlington, MA, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his entire family on December 11, 2013.  He was 63 years old.  Predeceased by his parents, John A. and Rita A. (Flanagan) Foley, he is survived by his beloved wife Anne (Higgins) and their loving children, Michael T. of Arlington, Patrick H. of Boston, and Elizabeth B. of Arlington.  He is also survived by his four siblings, John A., Jr., MD of Virginia, Judith F. McManamon of Falmouth, Maryalice of Arlington, and Paula J. Leibovitz of Winthrop. He had many adoring nieces and nephews.

Receiving the Gentlemen-Scholar-Athlete Award as well as many others, Mike graduated with High Honors from Arlington Catholic High School in 1968 and was among the first inductees in the Hall of Fame in 1996.  While pursuing a BA at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, he belonged to Theta Chi Fraternity, was awarded many honors including induction into Phi Beta Kappa, and received recognition for Outstanding Service to the University.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1972.  Loving everything UMASS, Michael was a founding member of the UMASS Club in Boston, a member of the Club’s Board of Governors, and had the distinction of bearing the #00001 membership card.  Michael served as a Trustee of the University system for 15 years and in 2009 was awarded the UMASS Distinguished Alumni Award for Service, the highest honor bestowed on an alumnus.

To fulfill a childhood dream, Michael continued on a career path in medicine by attending the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, graduating in 1976.  Years later he served as vice chair of the Clinical Management Board for UMASS Medical School and as a member of the School of Nursing Dean’s Advisory Board.  In addition he served on the Dean’s Advisory Boards of both the UMASS Boston and UMASS Amherst Colleges of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Desiring to maintain his Boston roots, Dr. Foley did his internship and residency at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, MA, where he was born.  Appointed Chief Medical Resident at St. Elizabeth’s in 1978, Michael was a Clinical Fellow in Gastroenterology at St. E.’s and then a Research Fellow at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Boston, while continuing with his work at St. Elizabeth’s, where he practiced from 1981 until his passing.  Michael was also the Chief of the Medical Staff and Program Director for Gastroenterology at Kindred Hospital in Brighton.

In the past, Dr. Foley served as President of the Medical Staffs at St. Elizabeth’s, the former Symmes Hospital in Arlington, and the Quigley Memorial Soldiers Home in Chelsea.  He also had other appointments, which included Mount Auburn in Cambridge, Brighton Marine Health Center and the clinic at Hanscom Air Force Base.

Dr. Foley was a former Adjunct Professor at MASS College of Pharmacy, Clinical Instructor at Tufts University School of Medicine, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts for the last 25 years.  He was licensed in medicine from the Commonwealth and held medical certificates from the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the American Board of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Foley was actively involved in many professional organizations such as the Chrohn’s and Colitis Foundation, New England Chapter, from which he received the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 1998, the American Liver Foundation from which he received the Award for Outstanding Service in 1994, and served on its Board of Directors in 2000.  He was a founding member of the Massachusetts Gastroenterology Association as well as a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American Gastroenterology Association and a Fellow in the the American College of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Foley served as a Trustee for Por-Cristo, a nonprofit medical service organization in the field of international health.  His efforts included fact-finding trips to Equador and the Dominican Republic.  Michael lectured on Emergency Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel and Budapest, Hungary.  He was also initiated into Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.

Michael’s love of and interest in sports was apparent with his affiliation with the Boston Red Sox.  For almost 25 years, he served as the internal medicine consultant and physician in attendance at Fenway Park.  He traveled with the team to several championship games, the most memorable being the 1986 World Series games against the New York Mets.  He also served as Trustee and physician and consultant for the New England Sports Museum, and well as physician and consultant for the National Football League Alumni Association.

Despite his professional commitments to healing and educating, Michael always found time for anyone in need of a favor or a friend. He was greatly loved and respected by all who knew him.  He was as tireless in spreading joy as he was in his work.  Above all, he was a loving and dedicated husband and father.  He will be greatly missed.

sophie kamveris January 28, 2014 at 08:05 AM
Not a day passes that I don't think of Dr Foley as I drive to my office on Mill street everyday. He loved his town. I set up shop here because of him. His spirit still fills the building, in my mind, but his wordly presence will be so greatly missed. Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends, as well as to the medical community that lost a wonderfully caring and kind-hearted practitioner.

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