Floral 07

Joan E. (Thornton) Foley

August 16, 1945 ~ March 14, 2021 (age 75)


Topic: Joan E Foley- Wake
Time: Mar 19, 2021 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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SAUGERTIES….. Joan E. Foley, 75, of Main St. and formerly of Lexington, Mass., died peacefully with her family around her, Sunday, March 14, 2021, at the residence of her late brother, and sister-in-law. Born August 16, 1945, in Kingston,  she was the daughter of the late William, Sr. and Elsie Jordan Thornton.   


Joan spent a happy childhood on Elm Street in the village of Saugerties. She attended Saint Marys’ of the Snow in Saugerties then graduating from Saugerties High School class of 1964.  She attended Duquesne University where she earned a Bachelor's degree.  Then, while working at Bell Telephone Laboratories she was sent to Stevens University where she earned a Masters degree in Mathematics. 


During her senior year of college, Joan wrote a letter to Time Magazine regarding the lack of women in executive roles. After her letter was published, many of her graduating classmates received significant job offers from major corporations across the country.  Joan was a trailblazer in the effort to help drive the awareness for equality for women across the industries. 


Joan’s lengthy career began at Bell Labs in New Jersey, where she held a variety of supervisory and management positions.  She was later transferred to New England Telephone in Boston. She held several management positions, including supervising manager for the construction of their data center in Andover, Massachusetts, manager of all "Outside Plant'' for all of New England Telephone. As Manager of Plant Operations, she was responsible for everything outside the central office including overhead and underground management. She was transferred to New England Telephone (which later became Verizon) in Boston where she held several positions, including manager for the construction of their data center in Andover, Massachusetts. Throughout her successful 30-year career Joan received many honors and accolades for her dedication and work efforts. She continued work in operations and technology positions until her retirement as Vice President of Operations.

Outside of work, Joan was heavily involved as a board member for Dearborn Academy, Schools for Children; a private therapeutic day school located in Newton, Mass.  She spent enormous energy working for the school by running major fundraising campaigns and she led the Search Team for the replacement of the school’s Headmaster.  In 2013, she was honored at a special luncheon and received a keepsake to honor her contributions. When she moved to Saugerties, she became a member of the Saugerties Girls Community Club, a not-for-profit during the World War II period. Joan's mother Elsie was one of the founding members. This social club has served Saugerties by raising money since the Club's inception with a one hundred percent donation of all funds.  

 Joan enjoyed sewing, gardening, attending the ballet, the Boston Pops, and theater. And who could forget her beloved Goldens, Abigail, and Kelsey that she adored and loved spending time with.


Joan met Eugene Foley while they were both employed at Bell Labs in New Jersey. They were happily married for 28 years.  During their marriage, they were extensive worldwide travelers.  They skied across Europe, spent time in Egypt from Aswan to Cairo, and skied the Western United States. Joan and Gene loved hosting their Wine Tasting Parties.  They also enjoyed vacationing at their condo in Bermuda and spending summers on Cape Cod with family and friends.  Always returning to Saugerties for a special event to spend time with her beloved Thornton family. 

In her later years, Joan and her loving companion, Thomas Voyer of Marblehead, who predeceased her, spent much time together. They enjoyed the arts and attended many tennis and golf events.  When Joan became ill, he checked in daily to let her know how much he cared and that they would be together again soon.


Joan is survived by her older brother, Lawrence (Leeanne) of Saugerties, sister-in-law, Nadine of Ohio, sister-in-law, Sherian of Saugerties. Nephews and nieces, William (Bill)(Tracy) Thornton of Ohio, Christine Thornton-Mance (Jeff) of Red Hook, Sarah Thornton of Boston, Kate Thornton-Columbia (Erik) of Syracuse, Andria Thornton of Florida, Jennie Hankel Thornton of Ohio.  Great nieces and nephews Veronica and Gabrilla Thornton, Payton and Jabob Mance, and Elisabeth and Kendell Columbia. Also survived by many cousins, Arthur Jordan, Thomas and Jade, Steve and Gail, Janet and Steve, Linda and Tom, June and Andy, and Pat Thornton. She was predeceased by her father, William D. Thornton, mother, Elsie Jordan Thornton, her oldest brother, William (Bud) of Ohio, youngest brother David (Scout) of Saugerties, nephew, Michael (Jennie)Thornton of Ohio, and her companion Thomas Voyer of Marblehead.

Friends will be received Friday 2-4 and 7-9 PM.  Her Funeral Procession will form at 9:30 am Saturday at the Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home, Inc. at the corner of John & Lafayette Sts. Then to St. Mary of the Snow where a Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 am.  Interment will follow in Trinity Cemetery. Face masks and social distancing rules to be observed.  Further obituary information and condolences to the family may be shared on Joan’s Tribute Wall @SeamonWilseyFuneralHome.com

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Joan E Foley can be mailed to the Saugerties Girls Community Club c/o Thornton at 396 Main Street, Saugerties. The Saugerties Animal Shelter 1765 Rte 212, Saugerties, NY 12477 and Dearborn Academy of Boston, A Program for Schools for Children in Boston.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joan E. (Thornton) Foley, please visit our floral store.


March 19, 2021

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home, Inc.
45 John Street
Saugerties, NY 12477

March 19, 2021

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home, Inc.
45 John Street
Saugerties, NY 12477

Funeral Service
March 20, 2021

10:00 AM
St. Mary of the Snow Church

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