Mary (Lelek) Foley, 82, a former nurse, dean of students and vocational-technical instructor, died Friday at Peace Hospice after a long illness.
Her memorial service is 11 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, followed by a reception at the church. Cremation has taken place under the direction of O'Connor Funeral Home.
Mary passed away Friday, May 28, 2010. She possessed an unparalleled love for life, as well as for others. She will be greatly missed by her family, former colleagues and numerous friends.
Mary was born March 29, 1928, in Wayne, Alberta, Canada. She was the second of eight children. Upon graduation from high school, she attended the University of Calgary, graduating with bachelor's degrees in nursing and psychology. Mary then continued her education at the University of St. Louis, Mo., graduating with honors with a master's degree in nursing.
She then moved to Great Falls, Mont., where she held many nursing positions at what was then known as Columbus Hospital. Mary also was the dean of students at the University of Great Falls for many years.
On Aug. 18, 1968, she married Cornelius "Con" Foley.
After adopting their son Stephan in 1975, Mary was a homemaker until 1980, when she obtained a position as a medical terminology and transcription instructor at the Great Falls Vo-Tech. Following a brief retirement in 1995, Mary went on to work for many years, up to her husband's death in 2008, as a night-shift charge nurse at both Missouri River Manor and Park Place nursing homes. Mary's devotion to her patients, as well as colleagues, was uncompromised, unsurpassed and absolute.
Mary had many loves, including collecting owls, reading, playing with and educating her grandchildren, gardening, listening to classical music and musicals and, most importantly, giving unconditionally to her family and friends. Mary's grandchildren were the light of her life, and her spirit will live through them.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Stephan and Effie Lelek; her brother Joe; and her beloved husband, Con.
Mary is survived by her son, Stephan Foley, his wife, Rebecca, and her beloved grandchildren Benny, Jexsen and Auzzlend; as well as her siblings, Bill, Olga, John, Mike, Theresa and David, all of Alberta, Canada.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the women and children's shelter at the Great Falls Rescue Mission, to ensure Mary's gift of love and knowledge will be personified for generations to come.
Condolences may be posted online at www.oconnorfuneralhome.com