Date of Death:  January 9, 2022

Service Details

Visitation will be held Friday, January 14, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at Howardsville Gospel Chapel, 53441 Bent Rd., Marcellus. A funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. at Howardsville Gospel Chapel with Rev. Sheldon Combs officiating.

Obituary Notice

James Edward Foley passed away at age 33 on Sunday, January 9, 2022. He was born with Down Syndrome and was a joy-filled young man. His charisma meant no one was a stranger.

He loved Jesus, people and parties. He was always a party waiting to happen. He participated in St. Joseph County Special Olympics for many years. But his favorite thing to do was to crank up his CDs in the car and sing his heart out or dance all night at a wedding reception. He wanted to be a professional singer; he’s singing with Jesus now. He also loved watching football with his dad and brother and going out to eat or to get an iced coffee (or a Mountain Dew, which his mom strictly forbade).

James leaves behind two parents, Shaun and Melissa, who loved him more than words can express. His sister and brother-in-law Stephen and Sara Wolters and nephew Shaun. His brother and sister-in-law Nathan and Emma Foley and his niece Skylar. His maternal grandparents Robert and Sara Knepple and his paternal grandmother Olga Cairns. They will miss his kisses, hugs and phone calls very much. He also leaves behind many aunts, uncles and cousins who loved him dearly.

Additional Information

Donations in James’ memory may be directed to Howardsville Gospel Chapel.

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30 Comments

  1. I worked at the elementary school in Marcellus as a janitor. James was always a joy to talk too and always had a smile. May the comfort of God be with you all.

  2. Words cannot express what it means to know someone so filled with joy, a true delight to be around, and to know our time with them on Earth has ended. We will continuing being blessed by the time we had with him as we find new ways to continue living. Whenever I saw James, he reminded me that living your life fully and enjoying your life can be a gift to the rest of the world. We won’t be the same without him, it hurts to know he’s gone. But the joy James brought to the world will outlive everything else. It was an honor to know him. With love, Colin

  3. Melissa, Shaun and family,
    We were so saddened to hear the news of the passing of your precious James. Melissa, your daily ‘James’ stories were a delight and the highlight to any day. You and James were inseparable and your relationship was something special. He was funny, kind, loving and would brighten any day with his smile.

    I can’t imagine the pain and suffering that your family is going through with this loss. Heaven is a brighter place since he arrived, and it’s a great comfort to know that we will all see him again.

    Although we can’t be there to attend the services, we will be with you in spirit and continue to pray for all of you.

    We love you all so much,

  4. I had the privilege of working alongside James at Bullseye. Always looked forward to Saturday’s with him. He brought so much joy & happiness to people. I can still hear him saying, “Hey, I know you”!! He loved to dress up & loved seeing others come in the store with sports teams shirts or hats (especially MI and MI State). Thank you for allowing him to work there and bless so many lives with his smile & laughter!! I will miss hearing him say, “Where’s my hug”?
    May God grant you comfort & peace and trust that you will feel His loving arms upholding your family in the weeks & months ahead! With love & prayers, Amy

  5. I worked with James at Marcellus Schools. James was a wonderful young man that loved life. He brought joy and laughter to all who new him.May God wrap you in his cloak of grace to comfort you. This is such a great loss. I pray that you know everyone loved and respected him and his family..I am sorry that I cannot attend.
    Love,
    Mrs. Haines

  6. So sorry for your loss. There was never a dull moment with James. I remember the last time I visited, James wanted to read his favorite story to me 😀 I think I laughed through the whole story, he loved it!

  7. Melissa and family….I cannot wrap my head around what you are going through right now but what a blessing James was to you and the rest of the world he touched; including my world. Never have I met anyone so full of life and who could light up a room with his infectious smile for which I will miss. Thank you for sharing him with us and May God keep you all in his arms during this difficult time as I will keep you in my prayers.

  8. My heart breaks for you all during these challenging times. Keeping you all close in thoughts and prayer.
    I always enjoyed James’ company when coming over to hangout with Nathan. Whether Jimmy was sneaking away to his room to dress up in a suit and tie for me, or listening to Nathan try to convince Jimmy to do something we all knew was a horrible idea… But for jimmy to do it anyway because his brother told him “it’d all be just fine.” He will be missed by many!

  9. So sorry for your loss Foley family, James was a blessing from God and was well loved by all that came in contact with him. Brandi G went to school with him and participated in Special Olympics with him .Also attended Nights to Shine with him and many others. He surely will be missed…Fly high James

  10. James was such a joy to us all. You could always count on him for a hug, a smile and a greeting by name. I will miss the latest James stories. He truly loved life and made it a better place. I loved his testimony and the way he shared Jesus with others. He couldn’t have been born to a better family who deeply loved, cared for and provided great opportunities to him. God bless you all. I pray you can cherish his memories and find peace in the future.

  11. James always, always put a smile on my face and in my heart. He was a charmer, a man of humor and great imagination! He gave so much love to those around him and it gave me such joy to see the never ending support the Foley family provided him. I loved his fancy hats, his annual 30 days of Halloween, the twinkle in his eye, and his love for Mountain Dew! A true gem of a man that will be forever missed.

    Sending you all love and prayers for strength in the days to come.

  12. We are so saddened by the news of James’ passing into Heaven. I will personally ever forget his love of costumes and acting out the part to the costumes he wore.
    James was one of the most vibrant young men I have ever known!
    Our prayers are especially lifted for Tje family James left here until they meet again in Heaven!

  13. James always had a special place in my heart, his infectious smile and giggle will stay with me forever. He brought a smile to my face when I needed it most. Thank you for allowing me the chance to experience the joy this precious young man brought to my life. Many prayers to the family. May you feel God ever so near at this difficult time.

    • Oh we’ve lost a beautiful soul! He brought so many smiles to my face, such a ham and loved life so much. I will miss his coffee times and October will never be the same. You knew James had Jesus in his heart because he just splashed that true joy on everyone he came in contact with. Can’t wait to dance with him in heaven. Shaun and Melissa you were amazing parents even in the challenges that you faced raising a special needs child, your love overflowed. May your hearts be comforted in the days, months and years ahead. 2 Cor. 1:3-7 Thankful for the impact he has had on so many! You will be missed James!

  14. Dear Melissa, Shaun and family. I am so very sorry for your loss. Although I didn’t know James personally, I do feel I got to know him through Melissa’s stories on FB. Each and everyone put a huge smile on my husband and my face. We will miss those tales. I guess the Lord was in need of another angel. I am happy to know he is w his Great grandparents and all those who went before. I know no words will stop the heart ace, but know I hold each of you in a big hug and in my prayers.
    ~ Love you all, Denise “Corbit” Anders

    “I thought of you today,
    but that is nothing new.
    I thought about you yesterday
    and days before that too.
    I think of you in silence,
    I often speak your name.
    All I have are memories and
    your picture in a frame.
    Your memory is a keepsake
    from which I’ll never part.
    God has you in His arms,
    I have you in my heart.”

  15. I have so many precious memories of James! From his 16th birthday party, to many superbowls and dancing with him at my wedding! He was such a light and such a joy to be around. He will be missed so greatly. Praying for the Foley family for peace and comfort. What a joy to know that he dances with Jesus today.

  16. God blessed Jimmy with some special gifts that touched the lives of everyone he came into contact with! He loved Jesus wholeheartedly and demonstrated the love of Christ to all. He will be missed. We are praying for Shaun, Melissa, and the family. May the love of God and the hope we have in Christ bring you all great comfort and overwhelming peace in this great loss. 😢

    • James was the epitome of what God wants us all to be in child-like faith and wonderment, spreading His love to everyone we meet with genuine, unabandobed love and grace. Melissa, Shaun and family have been the utmost testimony to all with James, their special gift from God. We trust that James legacy will be carried on with the many “James stories” and antics, with much joy and laughter pointing all to the love he had for Jesus. May God’s comfort continue for the dear family and all who knew and loved James, for he taught us much, his void runs deep. Secure in our Father’s big arms James waits for all of us to join his dance party. Love and faithful prayers with Sincere Sympathies Allen and Kim Lammott Family

  17. My condolences to all of James’ loved ones. Mere words cannot take away your pain, but I hope that you find comfort in remembering all the good this fine young man brought into your lives, leaving you happy memories that can never be taken away. In God’s loving care, James now rests. John 5:28, 29; Psalm 37:29. Prayers for the family.

  18. James was such a wonderful young man. He was always smiling. He could brighten the darkest day. He loved to sing and dance. He and I would talk about sports. He also thought it was hilarious that I babysat his Mom, Aunt Laura, and Uncle Rob. Will dearly miss him.

  19. James was an amazing young man who loved the Lord and lived that love too. It is hard to remember when he was quiet and shy, but he was. “YO, James”, I will miss you but will see you again one day!

  20. Jimmy leaves behind a huge space in your lives and this world that only God can fill with His love. I am thankful that I got to know Jimmy through the years. What a gift from God he is! And now God holds Jimmy in His arms – most precious gift. God is faithful and He will be your courage when you need it most, will cry with you and hold you when you can’t do anything else, and will be your breath when all you can do is breathe. You are all in my prayers. Love never dies.

  21. I never saw James without a smile. One day, I was sitting in the break room at Village Market and watched as James opened the car door for his mother and then his sister. That put a smile on my face, too. My father-in-law loved to see James at church when he was coming to Corey. James was special to a lot of people. Heaven has taken back one of their angels.

    • Although I never had the pleasure of meeting James I often heard stories about him in the break room at Andrews from his mom. Such a joy he brought to all who knew him. God bless this family and friends for their caring loving ways.I am so sorry for your loss.

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