- Robert Foley
Robert Tappan Foley, 92, of Philadelphia, Pa., and North Hero, Vt., died at his home on January 16, 2023.
Robert Foley was born on March 20, 1930, in Winter Park, Fla., the son of Sherwood and Eleanor (Tappan) Foley. He grew up in a house next door to the Seminole Hotel on Lake Osceola in Winter Park, which his father owned. He attended Asheville School in Asheville, N.C., beginning in 1944 and graduated in 1948. Bob entered Haverford College that year and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1952. After college, he spent two years as a clerk in the U.S. Army, where he was stationed in Columbia, S.C. He then joined the Philadelphia firm of Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby as an actuary. He worked there until he retired in 1982.
as an actuary was the beginning of a lifelong interest in technology,
computers and all things mechanical. It was while working in
Philadelphia that he met his future wife, Priscilla Rose, and on
October 13, 1979, they were married at King’s Chapel in Boston. He
was predeceased by Priscilla, who died in 2009.
very first year of his life, Bob spent summers at his family’s
multigenerational home on the shore of Lake Champlain in North Hero,
Vt. There he developed close ties to aunts, uncles and cousins, who
formed a small family community and lifelong relationships. Bob was
at home on the water and knew well the character and history of Lake
Champlain. As a young man, he would row out in the lake to take
pictures of the steamboat Ticonderoga as it sailed past the family
an enduring love of travel that developed at an early age from
journeys with his parents and sister Anne. Bob’s explorations
included extensive travel in Europe, Australia and China, as well as
multiple transatlantic crossings on the Queen Elizabeth and Queen
Mary 2 when he and Priscilla would visit London for a few weeks of
theater and music.
special pride in his marriage, and he and Priscilla enjoyed
entertaining friends and family both in Philadelphia and Vermont.
Together their generosity was considerable, and they mentored several
Philadelphia families who were recent arrivals to the United States
from China and Vietnam. His philanthropy extended to the Philadelphia
Orchestra, Island Arts of North Hero, Vt., the North Hero Historical
Society, Shelburne Museum and the Preservation Trust of Vermont.
anyone who knew him will attest, Bob was modest and self-effacing. He
also had a sense of adventure. In his youth, he and a group of
friends traveled from North Hero down Lake Champlain, the Champlain
Canal and the Hudson River to New York City and back, camping along
the way. On another occasion, he canoed down the Colorado River,
through the Grand Canyon and, as he recalled later, by the time he
returned, his brown hair was bleached blond by the sun.
survived by his sister, Anne Doucet, of Jaffrey, N.H., and numerous
cousins and close friends.
family would like to express particular gratitude to his cousin June
Vouriotis, who oversaw his care in recent months, and to Hollis
McElwain, his cousin by marriage, who provided companionship in
Vermont. They would also like to thank the staff at the Barclay in
Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, who provided care and kindness
throughout his many years there and particularly during the last
months of his life.
A gathering of friends and family will be held in North Hero this summer.