The Family of Bud Foley, Jr., of Caldwell and Essex Fells; Decorated Veteran, Acclaimed Attorney, Knight of Malta, NJSGA President; Have Announced His Death
by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
ESSEX FELLS, NJ - The family of Adrian M. Foley, Jr., has announced that he passed away at his Essex Fells home on Monday at the age of 93, surrounded by family. Family and friends are deeply saddened by their loss and the community will mourn his absence.
Bud Foley was born on a farm in Bartlett, North Dakota, now almost a ghost town, and at an early age moved with his family to Arlington Avenue in Caldwell, New Jersey. He attended St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark and was the first recipient of the school's 'Saint Benedict’s Prep Medal' and was also elected to its Hall of Fame.
Foley went on to graduate cum laude from Seton Hall University; he later served as a Trustee and on the Board of Overseers of the University’s Immaculate Conception Seminary for over a decade. He was also the first recipient of the university's 'All University Award.' Later in life, Foley also received an honorary PhD degree from what is now St. Peter’s University.
A decorated veteran of World War II, First Lieutenant Adrien Foley was a B-24 navigator in the United States Army Air Corps who flew missions over the Mediterranean, Baltic and European theaters. His awards included:
"Mary was Bud's college sweetheart," a family member described.
After marriage, Foley then received his law degree from Columbia Law School and later was a member of its Board of Visitors. He served as Essex County Surrogate from 1954 to 1958 and was the youngest elected surrogate in New Jersey. Immediately after, he joined, and became a partner, in what is now the Connell Foley law firm.
Foley was active in all facets of the organized bar and his achievements include:
“Bud Foley made our firm what it is today,”
Foley covered many noteworthy criminal and civil cases. His law firm noted that the New York Times Chief Political Correspondent Richard Reeves once listed him as the one of the 15 most powerful men in New Jersey. He was described by Reeves as an attorney “who generally turns up on one side or the other in all major legal disputes affecting New Jersey.”
"Mr. Foley tried numerous cases in the appellate courts, both state and federal, and in the New Jersey Supreme Court, where he upheld
As one of New Jersey’s leading trial lawyers for six decades, Foley's friends and colleagues at the law firm were considered by him as "his second family;" where they considered him "one of the firm’s most beloved and respected partners."
Early in his career, Foley had a strong interest in politics. After his successful 1954 election resulting in his becoming Essex County Surrogate, a decade later Foley was the manager for the 1964 re-election campaign of US Senator Harrison A. Williams who served New Jersey from 1959 to 1982.
New Jersey's former NJ State Democratic Party Chair and current Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin, recalled the days his father, John J. Giblin, and Foley ran on the same democratic ticket in 1954; along with Foley's win, Giblin successfully won his race for freeholder that year.
"I had the good fortune to know Bud
Throughout his life, Foley continued to affect the state's business and legislative communities. In 1966, Foley was appointed by Governor Richard J. Hughes to preside as president of New Jersey’s Fourth Constitutional Convention. Mandated by a court order, the convention was established by the Democratic governor who was working with a Republican legislature - at a time when the state was dominated by a rural, legislative-led government. The convention itself was described in Ernest C. Reock Jr. book "Unfinished Business: The New Jersey Constitutional Convention of 1966" as combative, with a "stalemate appearing inevitable." Under Foley's political maneuvering and leadership, it went on to rewrite numerous legislative articles and brought equal representation permanently to the state, greatly increasing the power of the governor and its court system.
Appointed by Governor William Cahill, and then re-appointed by Governor Brendan Byrne, Foley served from 1970 to 1982 as the first treasurer and chief financial officer of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. Foley's negotiation skills were considered exemplary and were needed during the initial Meadowlands construction.
"Together with Sports Authority Chairman Sonny Werblin,
Joseph P. Brennan, of West Orange, remembers when he was elected Essex County Surrogate in 1996, Foley called him right away, offering his congratulations and any assistance Joe may have needed.
"Bud was a true gentleman," Brennan stated.
Although highly respected and a powerful force in state, and to some extent national, political activities, Foley remained keenly interested in local Essex County and municipal politics as well.
"God Bless Bud Foley, I considered him a role model; may he rest in peace,"
Slattery described how he and his other recent college graduate friends used to debate the events of the day at what was then Bill Cooper's Tavern on Bloomfield Avenue, near Roseland Avenue, in Caldwell.
"I recall one night in 1964 at Bill Cooper's," Slattery continued,
For many years, Foley was also a member of the Board of Directors of Prudential Insurance Company where he chaired the Finance Committee.
"Adrian Foley lived a life of remarkable accomplishment
A devoted Catholic, Foley was a member of the historic Order of the Knights of Malta and received a 'Medal of Service' from the Archdiocese of Newark for whom he served as legal counsel for many years. Foley was also a Commander of the Knights of Saint Gregory and a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre. He was a lector, Eucharistic Minister and daily communicant at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Roseland.
"There is just so much to tell about Uncle Bud,"
An avid golfer, Bud Foley was a member of the Essex Fells Country Club since 1959, where for six years, he also served as trustee. According to the New Jersey State Golf Association (NJSGA), Foley served as their legal counsel since the 1980s and became their president in 1986. While president, he influenced the revision of NJSGA by-laws by removing any reference to public or private facilities within the membership of the NJSGA. In addition, Foley, along with Robert “Bob” Cronheim, was co-recipient of the 2013 NJSGA/NJPGA Celebration of Golf Distinguished Service Award; Foley also was active at the state and national level as a member of the USGA Regional Affairs Committee. Together, Foley and Cronheim were the impetus behind the creation of NJSGA headquarters at Galloping Hill Golf Course, a project which took over twenty years to complete.
Foley was also a member of the Skeeters Club of York City.
“Bud's personal mission was to encourage juniors and children
Bud Foley's Family
Bud Foley was predeceased by his wife Mary Malone Foley, as well as by his sister, Irene, and his brother, Jack. He is survived by:
The memorial arrangements for Adrian M. Foley are as follows:
Message of Condolence
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Farmer Funeral Home of Roseland. Notes of sympathy to the family may be written online here.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School would be greatly appreciated:
Foley's family noted that he enjoyed story telling. After his numerous achievements, self-deprecation was a favorite theme of his and his motto was “Frequently in error; never in doubt!”
When New Jersey Monthy magazine described him as ”probably the most powerful lawyer in New Jersey,” Bud Foley is said to have called it: "a piece of fanciful fiction."