Francis H. “Pop” Foley, 100, of Sioux City pitched his last pitch on Thursday, October 19, 2023 at his residence. A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Burial will be Thursday at Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be Tuesday, October 24, 2023 from 5-7 p.m., with a Vigil Service 7:00 p.m., at Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel on Stone Park Blvd. Online condolences may be directed to www.meyerbroschapels.com.
Pop was born on October 5, 1923 in Charter Oak, Iowa, to Hugh and Kathryn (Hartigan) Foley. He grew up in Charter Oak, and moved to Sioux City during his junior year of high school. He attended East High School, where he immediately took up baseball, and graduated in 1941.
He served in the United States Army during World War II, from 1943-1946. He worked for Interbake Foods (formerly Johnson Buscuit Company) for 48 years, retiring as a Traffic Manager.
In 1955 he married Patricia Fleming in Elk Point, South Dakota. They had three daughters. Patricia preceded him in death in 2002.
Pop was a member of Immaculate Conception Church from the time he moved to Sioux City as a teenager.
He was a sports buff in the truest sense, enjoying everything from basketball, to golf, to football, but baseball had his heart. Every spring when baseball season began, Pop would say “Heaven is here!” And it didn’t matter if even his beloved Yankees made it to the World Series, he always wanted the World Series to take all seven games—because it meant more baseball he’d get to watch.
He also enjoyed watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, especially the girls’ basketball team, the Green Bay Packers, and any team that LeBron James played for. He loved watching Sioux City sports as well, including Morningside College and his Sioux City Explorers. Pop said that he would be listening to the Explorers on the radio when he got to Heaven. He sold tickets at Morningside College Basketball and Football games for over 30 years, and also worked for the Sioux City Community Schools. He was in charge of ticket sales for high school football games at Robert’s Stadium for 30 years.
Pop was inducted into the Iowa Men’s Fast Pitch Softball Hall of Fame in 2009. He was famous all over the state of Iowa for throwing a rise ball that no one could hit. He received the “NCC Honor Award” from Morningside College (now University) for significant contributions and devoted service in 2000.
Aside from sports, Pop loved watching classic cartoons and, of course, his family. He was a genuine, kind, welcoming person who always thought of others before himself.
He is survived by daughters: Katie and her husband Rene (Ray) Loraditch, Melanie Faber, and Jackie Priestley; grandchildren: Angela (Tim) Zuehl, Diana (Miles) Petersen, Melissa (Mike) Hames, Beth Faber, Jeff (Sheila) Priestley, Mike (Brooke) Priestley, Dan Priestley, and Robby Loraditch; 12 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia; his parents; son-in-law, John Priestley; three brothers: Leo Foley, John Foley, and Hugh Foley; and two sisters: Marie Jones and Kathleen O’Connor.