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Obituary: Bernice Foley, 1923-2021


Bernice Foley passed away peacefully at home on Sept. 23, 2021. She was 98 and leaves a legacy of supporting candidates and ballot issues to better serve the working people of Florissant, St. Louis County, Missouri, and America. 

The first candidate Bernice supported when she was only 20 years old by passing out election flyers in downtown St. Louis was Franklin Delano Roosevelt during his 1940 campaign to be the first president elected to a third term. The last candidate Bernice campaigned for by obtaining permission to place 50-yard signs was Joe Biden in his successful 2020 presidential campaign.

Bernice also campaigned for Harry Truman, John F, Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, meeting several of them in person as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Among her favorite non-presidential candidates were Senator Stuart Symington, Walking Joe Teasdale, and Mel and Jean Carnahan. For seven decades, Bernice also worked hard for Florissant ballot issues and candidates for mayor, city council, school board, and also county and state officials. 

Bernice was married to Harold ‘Bud’ Foley who was one of Missouri’s most decorated WWII soldiers who was awarded two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, seven Battle Stars, three presidential citations, and the Croix de Guerre from France. Bud Foley, a labor leader, was president of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades and business manager of the Pipefitters Union local 562. Together, they helped create a separate Florissant Township and became its first committeeman and committeewoman. Bud also served on the Florissant Council from 1952-1957.

Bernice was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She lost Bud in 1984 to a heart attack and always talked about how much she missed him but never let her mid-life loss stop her enthusiasm and drive to help elect people she believed in and to pass ballot issues to help her community.