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Gonzaga University Co-Hosts Memorial for Former House Speaker Thomas S. Foley

November 8, 2013 — Gonzaga University co-hosted a large memorial service on Nov. 1 for former House Speaker Thomas S. Foley, who attended both Gonzaga Prep and Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. Hundreds of people gathered in St. Aloysius Church to remember Foley, who passed away on Oct. 18.

Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh said the university was honored to co-host the memorial service with St. Aloysius Church. “We are privileged to welcome Mrs. Foley, family members, colleagues and admirers of Mr. Foley to campus for this community farewell,” he said.

Congressman Foley served 15 terms, from 1965 to 1995, as Democratic representative from Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District. He also served as party whip, majority leader and the last five years as the 57th speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. A former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, he died at age 84 in Washington, D.C. 

The speakers, introduced by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Justin L. Quackenbush, included wife Heather Foley; Gov. Jay Inslee; Washington Democratic Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell; Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.; former Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Washington; Spokane Superior Court Judge Michael Price (a cousin of Rep. Foley); and Rep. Foley’s nephew John Latimer.

“I so appreciate you all being here to honor and celebrate Tom’s life,” said Heather Foley. “I also have to thank our longtime friends Father (Bernard J. Coughlin) and Father (Frank) Costello who were so helpful to both of us over the years. I think I must have called Fr. Costello countless times and said, ‘we need an intern, please, please help’ and he always did.”

Sen. Murray called Rep. Foley “a statesman in the truest sense of the word” who helped bring the World’s Fair to Spokane in 1974 and expand markets for Eastern Washington wheat throughout the world and was “an honest consensus-builder” trusted by both Republicans and Democrats. [Gonzaga University]

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