Welcome to the memorial page for

Rita P (McAvoy) Foley

March 17, 1926 ~ July 10, 2017 (age 91)

A simple soul with an extraordinary knack for making friends wherever she went, her smile ever present and inviting, Rita McAvoy Foley left this earth in peace on Monday, July 10, with her family gathered around her.

Rita was always one to turn to for solace; her most profound advice would be to forget yesterday and don’t worry about tomorrow- instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift – today. You could count on her prayers to St. Anthony and St. Jude being offered for your intentions. She loved to read about and explore Chinese and Egyptian history. Rita worked at several popular stores on Essex Street in Lawrence and finished her retail career at Almy’s jewelry counter in Methuen where she worked for over 20 years.

Rita relished time spent with family, particularly her Wednesday night suppers, summers at the Salisbury beach cottage, several cruises to Alaska with her much loved sister Ruthie, and especially her trip to Ireland with her family. Rita enjoyed playing bridge and cards with her many friends and her excursions to Foxwoods.

Rita took delight in all of the seasons. She always looked forward to seeing the first red robins of spring and a red cardinal in the winter. Her family and her walking buddy, Claire Lesaffre would get notified of the sightings soon after. On a clear night she’d be sure to claim her favorite star to wish upon. Rita would spend hours in her favorite chair, always a cat or dog in her lap to watch the activity outside her door. Her only regret, she’d often say, is that she wished she’d learned to play the piano, as she loved to listen to music. She was an active member of St. Theresa’s in Methuen and St. Augustine’s and St. Anthony churches in Lawrence. She donated to many charities involving veterans and the MSPCA.

Rita was predeceased by her parents Thomas and Helen McAvoy, her husband Frank Foley, brothers Thomas and Charles McAvoy and a sister Dr. Eileen McAvoy. Rita is survived by her sister Ruth (McAvoy) Thel Kerr, daughter Patricia (Foley) Kinsella and her husband Richard, son Daniel Foley and his wife Karen and daughter Nancy (Foley) Forcier, six grandchildren Jaime (Kinsella) Finn and Kevin Kinsella, Kerri (Foley) Richard and Kaitlyn Foley, Jesse Forcier and Sara (Forcier) Martin and 10 great grandchildren Augustus, Asa, Oona, Patrick, Winter, Bailey, Colin, Marlowe, Brooklyn and John, along with several nieces and nephews from the McAvoy, Thel, Foley, Reilly, and Fitton families.

 The Foley family extends their heartfelt gratitude to the caring staff at Nevins, as well as Beacon Hospice services for their compassionate care and support.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend visiting hours on Friday, July 14, 2017 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Charles F. Dewhirst Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Methuen. Rita’s funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish/St. Theresa’s Church, 22 Plymouth St., Methuen at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 15th. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Lawrence.

Memorial contributions may be made in Rita’s name to the MSPCA, 400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844. For directions or to send condolences, please visit

 Service Information

July 14, 2017

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Dewhirst & Boles Funeral Home
80 Broadway
Methuen, MA 01844

Funeral Mass
July 15, 2017

10:00 AM
St. Theresa Church
22 Plymouth St.
Methuen, MA 01844


St. Mary Immaculate Conception Cemetery
29 Barker Street
Lawrence, MA 01841

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