ForeverMissed

This website was created in memory of Dave Foley who passed away on December 8, 2013. He was a dear colleague who touched many people in his work and life. He will be sorely missed. 

There was a memorial service for Dave on Friday Dec 20, 2013 at the Monterey NOAA lab where he has worked for the past 10 years. There are pictures from that event. It didn't seem quite right to post them here, so I have posted them on a flicker account:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/69121141@N07/sets/72157639535636284/ 

Thank you to everyone who attended. 

Posted by Ashley Wilson on October 14, 2019
Miss you, Dave. I wish I could share the changes in the last 5 years of my life. I met my boyfriend right when you died. He offered to take off work to go to your memorial. I wish you could met him. You'd also be proud of my job at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
Posted by Tom Foley on March 4, 2019
Remembering David on his Birthday with much love. He is forever in our hearts & will never be forgotten.
Foleys Sheffield U K
Posted by Jorge Vazquez on March 3, 2019
Dave, You are forever remembered by your colleagues and friends. You are never far from our hearts. Your spirit, vision, and kindness continues on through your friends and colleagues.
Posted by Tom Myers on December 9, 2018
Sitting here listening to Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" and remembering summer nights long ago sitting on the beach, drinking a beer, and watching the asteroids streak across the night sky.
Posted by Tim Kostolansky on December 8, 2018
Was recalling with my boys the time Wave bought them beach chairs, and they played rolling around the dunes at Carmel. Miss you much, my friend. Tim
Posted by Ase Innes-Ker on November 28, 2018
I am so sorry to hear about this. I only knew him briefly 30 years ago. I wrote a blog post about it asehelene.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/waving-goodbye/
Posted by Miranda Massie on December 9, 2017
Remembering Dave with gratitude and sending warmest best wishes to his family and friends.
Posted by Tom Foley on December 8, 2017
Remembering David with our fondest love & affection.

The Foley Family, Sheffield U.K.
Posted by Sean&Val Cawley on December 8, 2017
As my brother in law said to me 'it does not get easier but is more manageable'. I hope Barbara, Stephan and the extended family find it so.
Sean
Posted by Sean&Val Cawley on March 17, 2016
This is to wish peace to Barbara, Stephen and the extended families of Foleys, Bolts, Martins and Cawleys, following the saddening events of the last few years. All miss a jovial Dave and a growing list of those who have joined him, as our little granddaughter wrote, "beyond the stars"...Sean...
Posted by Candan Soykan on March 8, 2016
My sentiments echo those already expressed here. I came to know Dave through one of his satellite courses and was amazed by his generosity. He was so eager to help researchers and facilitate science. What a great loss for the scientific community as well as those who knew him personally.
Posted by Ashley Wilson on December 8, 2015
Thinking of you, Dave. You are missed.
Posted by Roberto Venegas on December 8, 2015
Se recuerda con cariño...
Posted by Miranda Massie on December 11, 2014
Missing you, Wave.
Posted by Andrea Aguiar on December 11, 2014
Thinking about you, Dave... We hadn't seen each other in nearly 20 years when you passed on, but the memories of our time together are very strong and dear. Wherever your spirit is, I hope it is filled with peace, love, and the beautiful music you shared with so many of us.
Posted by Sean&Val Cawley on December 11, 2014
Dear Steve and Babs, remembering Dave and you both. So sorry Val cannot join me in this. I went through some of her treasured keepsakes, one struck a particular cord, she had kept a cutting from a Long Island newspaper announcing Dave as a school child, winning an energy conservation competitiion! A smart cookie, Requiescat in pace et in amore.
Posted by Stephen Foley on December 9, 2014
A year has passed, and I see the folks that knew David still have him in mind, as mum and I do on a regular basis. I wanted to personally thank each of you for your kind words, and know that I have read each and every post left here on David's memorial. That would probably have surprised David!
cheers
Stephen
Posted by Ken Casey on December 8, 2014
One year on and we are missing you as much as ever Dave... we're fighting the good fight and working hard to carry on your efforts!
Posted by Ashley Wilson on December 8, 2014
Missing you, Dave. Everytime I listen to 94.7 The Wave radio station I think of you and your way too soon passing.
Posted by Yi Chao on December 8, 2014
Every time when I look at that picture with you raising the wine glass, it feels not too long ago, when two of us took the taxi to that local seafood restaurant in Lima/Peru. I enjoyed the many meetings we were spending time together. We all miss you very much!
Posted by Tom Myers on December 8, 2014
I can remember four or us at about 11 years old or so sitting outside on the steps and deciding we were going to be the Beatles. I played drums at the time, so I was naturally going to be the Ringo. Our two other friends were going to be the Paul and the George. And Dave? He reserved the role of John for himself. Lennon, much like Dave, was the cool one, the rebel. From that day on, I always thought of Dave as Lennon like.

It was not until this morning, on the first anniversary of Dave's passing, that I realized December 8th is also the day John Lennon was killed.

Dave would have loved the irony.
Posted by Malcolm Palmer on January 23, 2014
I was just informed of Dave's passing last night, my heart just sank. As I stood atop of the old Briarcliff school hill watching my two boys sled down with their friends, I began to remember Dave. We both grew up in the Village of Shoreham on Long Island. I believe we first met in school or through our parents because they worked at the Brookhaven Lab. I can remember playing tennis with Dave countless times, our matches were always close and intense. It seemed we both had the same frustration with our game and when I would scream out some obscenity he would just smile....I can still see his face in my mind. I can remember his silver Head racket that i envied so much. I have to laugh at the times he would slam the net in frustration and scream out.I have not seen Dave probably since high school (1984)I can still picture his old jean jacket with some heavy metal rock group patch sewn on back. It saddens me to think that we shall never chat again, may you rest in peace.
Posted by Tom Myers on December 23, 2013
With tears in my eyes, I sit here trying to collect my thoughts.

Dave has been my friend since age seven, and so much of what I am today came through our adventures of growing up together.

We shared a love of music, the beach, Jimi Hendrix, hanging out, riding bicycles, computers, Dungeons and Dragons, Science-Fiction, Benny Hill, camping, girls, the Beatles, wit, humor, Monty Python, adventure, pranks, jokes, swimming, learning and pushing the limit.

After he graduated from Cornell and went out west, his visits back east to Shoreham became less and less frequent and we gradually lost touch. 

I had hoped that with our upcoming 30th high school reunion I would have the opportunity to give my dear friend a big hug and melt away the years, but, alas, that is not to be.

Looking back at his life's work, I know that in a quiet moment, after the sun had set and as he stood on the deck of a ship or on some distant beach, he would gaze upon the vast ocean and, with fondness, recall those wonderful nights when our small coterie of friends would sit around a fire staring out into to Long Island Sound and enjoy each others company. I know I do.
Posted by Tim Rotella on December 23, 2013
I am so sorry, Dave was a great guy and one of the smartest people I ever met. I have lots of great memories hanging out with him and others in the first years after high school. To his family, I am so sorry for your loss.
Posted by Mike Meier on December 22, 2013
I have many fond memories of Dave from High school, He will be missed by many... Gods Speed Dave
Posted by Valerie Cawley on December 22, 2013
My sister’s son David was known to me more in youth than latterly but jovial whenever we met on the East coast. It may have been in Ireland when David truly came face to face with biology in the raw. We took the family to the Bog of Allen, inspired by Ken’s enquiring mind. The irregular ups and downs of the uneven ground was too much for the diminutive David at the time, so Ken piggy backed him. Deciding that he would jump over a looming bog hole, Ken landed on a deceptive tuft of moss which gave way under foot, as moss will do. He and David hit the oozing soft ground head first.
I am sorry that neither Ken nor David will have the opportunity to relive the experience.
I will pray for them and for Babs and Stephen.

Valerie
Posted by Marybeth Kamibeppu on December 22, 2013
I have been completely out of contact with Dave for many years, but knew him in elementary and middle school. He was in the same violin lessons with me at school. He was always so smart and uniquely funny. As my own children have gotten older and even attended the same Middle School that we attended, I have recently thought of Dave and Bobby and wondered what had become of them. I just reconnected with Bob via facebook and the first posting I saw was his remembrance of Dave. So sad. Glad to read about his dynamic professional life. Hope you guys can manage the Hawaiian shirts.
Posted by Tom Foley on December 21, 2013
We are shocked by the news about David and send our sympathy to     Barbara and Stephen.
Our memories are mainly of David as a young child and teenager. My brother Ken brought the family over to South Wales and Sheffield and we visited them on Long Island
He was a good looking, clever, shy boy with a very good sense of humour. I tried to outsmart him using the British sense of irony but he soon got onto it.
He once said of me, “Uncle Tom was very funny but now he is just a Funky Phantom”
I saw similar characteristics in him to those of his father. Ken was a working class boy from South Wales who won a scholarship to Oxford, gaining a D Phil in Physics and a career in Particle Physics at Brookhaven Labs L.I. There was the same dedication to work.
David lived life to the full and as well as working very hard, perhaps too hard, at his job, he always found time to have fun with his many friends. He also inspired many young students by showing them that science can be great fun if you work hard enough.
He will be remembered by his family and his friends in many walks of life for the contribution that he made to their lives.
Posted by Frank Schwing on December 21, 2013
When the NOAA CoastWatch operation was relocated from LaJolla in 2003 it was PFEL’s good fortune, because it brought Dave Foley back to the mainland and to Pacific Grove. Dave was imminently responsible for modernizing CoastWatch from a regional data base that “turned the crank” on routine products and images, to a dynamic center that moved huge volumes of satellite data and science-based products and assessments, often customized, to scientists and other users around the world.

Dave epitomized the two-pronged data service and research philosophy of the original Pacific Environmental Group and the innovative spirit of ERD today and, hopefully, in the future, regardless of its form and location. Dave was an adept technician and programmer. But he also was quite an insightful and productive scientist. He was sought out by researchers on grants and papers not for his pedigree but based on his proven knowledge and insight of oceanography. Dave’s keen ability to integrate across disciplines and data sources took CoastWatch and PFEL data services beyond archiving and map making, to developing truly useful and informative analyses and products critical to the stewardship of living resources and healthy ecosystems.

To the degree that Dave was an iconoclast, he fit in perfectly at PFEL. He freely shared his opinion about red tape, but understood when it was necessary to feed and care for the bureaucratic beast. Anyone who worked with Dave had the experience of deliberating about some task, and Dave ending the discussion by declaring “Oh, I’ll just go do it”. And he would “go do it”, well and on schedule.

As lab director, Dave made PFEL - and me - look good and deliver big countless times. We are less for his premature departure from our world, but greater for having Dave as a co-worker, a colleague, a friend.

Aloha Dave...
Posted by Lesley Thorne on December 20, 2013
I got to know Dave after spending the past two summers in Monterey working with him and some friends at the ERD lab. I arrived during a difficult time for him and, to some extent, for me, and I am strangely grateful for that since I don’t think we would have become such good friends in any other situation.

My thought for this post was to trawl through the many short emails Dave and I exchanged in the hopes of producing some sort of collage his hilariously quirky and witty character. But as I looked through these emails, what struck me was not his humor or his whimsical style (which I am always aware of!) but what a good friend he has been to me. Aside from our regular chats on gmail, I found dozens of emails from Dave checking in on me through various moves, trips, holidays, birthdays, and many cat-related fiascos. I wish I could remember the details of what I didn’t realize would be our last brief chat last weekend.

Dave found amusement and absurdity in so many small things. I think the list of things that most remind me of Dave demonstrates this well: carrot juice, armadillos, origami, “zen banana slugs”, EFH (I can explain, Elliott), ninja outfits, mola high fives, the colour purple, CLIOTOP wives, “Victoria Island”, bean bag chairs, butterfly cookies, rationed meat food, the wanderings of albatrosses…

Dave, you will be missed.
Posted by Miranda Massie on December 20, 2013
I had the same idea as Lesley in the previous post of sharing emails and ended up pulling an all-nighter (a very Wave move) reading them and thinking about him. Our correspondence was a delight and I will sorely miss it. Wave and I were friends in college and reconnected a few years back, a piece of luck for which I'm hugely grateful. He was one of the smartest, oddest, most playful, and best people I've known. Wave, sending you love, thanks, and a sorrowful goodbye.
Posted by Tim Kostolansky on December 20, 2013
My deepest condolences go out to Dave’s family and friends.

I first met Dave and got to know him our freshman year at Cornell, we were on the same dorm room floor in Baker Hall. I must admit it took me a little time to gain an appreciation for Dave’s unique wry humor and way of seeing things. We became good friends even though we didn’t always quite agree.
I knew Dave was wicked smart, and liked that he was (almost always) modest and unassuming about his talents - he could hit a great baseline tennis shot, wing a Frisbee, and who knew what a good cook he would become?

Though our paths would not cross as often as we would have liked after college, I had great fun and memorable times with Dave over the years in LA, Hawaii, and CA. I never knew what to expect, and that always had the best results – stopping by LA to catch up would turn into a ride on that sail boat up the coast would then become a house party with new interesting people to meet. Dave never hesitated to hop an island or drive hundreds of miles to give a ride for his friends. I guess one of Dave’s greatest gifts was his generosity of spirit, his love of the journey. I wish he could have taken better care of his health.

I did not see Dave very much in the last handful of years, and this is my loss. I am very happy that Dave had the chance to meet my wife Hifumi and our sons – all became fast friends. They were good times seeing Dave get down on his hands and knees and play with little children.

Wave, my friend, I will miss you.
On to that distant shore.
Posted by Raphael Kudela on December 20, 2013
I am truly saddened at the news. Dave and I were collaborating on various projects up to about a week before I heard the news. I knew Dave when we were grad students together and it was such a great opportunity to renew our friendship and work together when we both ended up in central California. He is truly irreplaceable as a friend, colleague, and positive spirit.
Posted by Paul Foley on December 20, 2013
I am so shocked and saddened to hear about my cousin david passing away. living in Sheffield ( England) i we only met a few times over the years. first time was south wales in the 70s, also new York long island, how time goes , then in 1989 new York ( long island) again this time for nans 80th who came with us from England,all the foleys togeather but for the last time. rem the great smile you had and also a very easy going person you seem to be. now your on that great wave in the sky with that smile on your face ( never forget that great smile you had as a kid) from paul/clare foley and sons oliver/luke/joseph. the stories will live on, my sons will be told of a great uncle they never met.
Posted by Niamh Cawley on December 19, 2013
As I celebrate my 47th birthday today, I look back on the few times I was able to hang with my cousin, David. We were born in the same year, so our parents would exchange parallel stories from across the Atlantic as we grew up and of course we would receive the annual package of clothes from Aunt Barbara, that were just too small for David but just right for me since he was 9 months older. As a young boy, I was in awe of my mysterious cousin, seeing pictures of this ultra cool guy at the beach, relaxed, in thought, happy. Our paths did not cross much through life but I was aware of where he was and what he was doing and I was impressed by him. I get a sense that this was not uncommon after reading some the messages here. I was thrilled to spend an evening with him for dinner at my house several years ago when he came to Washington DC for a conference. He met my family and we shared a nice meal and some good wine. There was something easy about being around David. I cannot say I knew David well but I was always happy to hear about him and the work he did. My heart is saddened by his death. I will remember David with fond memories of the brief visits I had in his home on Long Island and especially our evening spent catching up. Be at peace, dear cousin.
Posted by Elliott Hazen on December 19, 2013
Dave,

I honestly don't know what to say other than you were one of my favorite collaborators, a great traveling partner, and consummate friend. Dining in Charleston with you during the satellite course was such a treat. Your appreciation of food, including the amazing food you cooked for us when we had Phoebe was unforgettable. Thank you so much.

You will be missed.
Posted by Isabelle Duvivier on December 19, 2013
Dear Dave,

I first met you more than 20 years ago when you where one of the ringers on our softball team, the Young Guns. I think you played center field because you where so fast. Remember we won first place in our division in the LA league. At that time you lived in the Marina Del Rey and worked/taught at USC, I think. You took me on a research vessel with your students who where studying habit quality just off coast from the Hyperion Treatment Plant. The theory was that the sewage-overflows were creating abundant nutrients for fish species. It made me so mad that something as bad as sewage could be good. That was typical of you, Dave, always dispelling my prejudices.

Now in hind site I believe it was these discussions with you that lead me, an architect by training - a builder of structures, to becoming a proponent of watershed health and reduced urban runoff.

You had a way of often redirecting my anger aimed at humans. I was always spouting on about “healing” the earth and educating people about the negative impact of their behavior on the environment. You made fun of me, in a nice way, saying the planet will be just fine. 

Later I visited you in Hawaii with my sister. And again we visited you in Monterey with our 3 rambunctious children. The kids drove us crazy but you where cool as a clam.

The last time I saw you was unexpectedly at a World Ocean Conference in Long Beach. You seemed frenzied, off to another conference. We didn’t have time to talk. 

You emailed me about 2 weeks ago that you have moved to Santa Cruz. How I wish I had picked up the phone to chat. 

Dave, you had a way of putting everything/everyone's needs in front of your own. You are my only friend at NOAA. I felt good knowing you where working for an organization that studies and protects the ocean's health. But you didn’t look after yourself. Thank you for your service as a friend and a fellow ocean lover.
Love and will miss you
Isabelle
Posted by Sarah Mesnick on December 19, 2013
My heart is filled with the wonderful messages that everyone has left for Dave. I knew Dave only a little, but feel that I have come to know him from the warmth and humor pouring from these pages. My thoughts are with everyone,
Posted by Anne Petrenko on December 19, 2013
I am so shocked and sad. Dave, Jerry, Darek and I were students of Tommy Dickey in the 90’s at USC. Dave was very bright, fun, helpful. He always had plenty of innovative and judicious ideas. The cruise in Mamala Bay, HI (october 1994), but also some small « daily » ones around Los Angeles, would not have been the same without the help of Dave.
Dave had downloaded some software from our French web site at the end of November and had said " hi ". My colleague and I answered; I was happy at the idea of reconnecting …. but the communication has stopped before I got to learn how he was doing. This is a big loss. 
I want to express my heartfelt condolences to all his relatives and close friends. Bon courage à tous,
Anne Petrenko
Posted by Curt Davis on December 18, 2013
Dave was a great friend and colleague who will be missed. Working with NOAA was always challenging, but Dave made it a delight. We miss you Dave. Fair seas and following winds.
Posted by John Ryan on December 18, 2013
I honor Dave's life and his wave of goodness that will continue beyond his time among us. The shape and color of his wave is painted in many expressions of appreciation here. I am grateful to have known Dave as a colleague and friend. I will miss him.
Posted by Oisin Cawley on December 18, 2013
Cousin Dave, I wish you now eternal peace and happiness. I have fond memories of my "cousins in America" who we unfortunately did not get to meet and know enough. You were nonetheless a part of our extended family and we are all saddened by your passing.
Posted by Michael Ondrusek on December 18, 2013
Dave was certainly a unique breed. At first I had trouble figuring Dave out, even when we shared a shack in the jungle in Hawaii, but then I realized, there was nothing to figure out. Dave was what he showed and who you saw.  Only ran into him once every few years since we left Hawaii and it was always a good time over a cold beer. I hope you can still come visit once in a while when you can.
Peace
Posted by Steve Lindley on December 18, 2013
I first met Dave at a JGOFS workshop in Scottsdale AZ back in the early 90s when we were both in grad school. Our paths crossed periodically over the years, and he moved to our lab just a few months ago. We are stunned and saddened by his untimely passing.
Posted by Evan Howell on December 17, 2013
I'm truly sorry to hear of Dave's passing.

Dave was my office mate and supervisor when I worked at the Honolulu Laboratory CoastWatch node in the late 90s. While there was a certain amount of Entropy working closely with Dave, it was always a dynamic time filled with some wonderful material for later stories.

Over time Dave moved on to great things at ERD, but with some irony I feel that the distance made us closer. Dave was always someone I looked forward to seeing, both as a colleague and a friend.

I watched Dave's career as it morphed from his early successes in bringing a suite of remotely-sensed products to "the masses" (ocean winds certainly comes to mind), to truly being an integral part of the scientific and academic communities throughout the nation, if not the world.

My hope now is that Dave can truly rest in peace, and that his legacy can live on through all those that he has touched. Here's to you Dave, and letting us know that the larger meaning in things can all be found in the "fiddly bits."
Posted by Christopher Perle on December 17, 2013
Such sad news.
I am one of the many whose research depended on Dave's vast knowledge and, more importantly, willingness to help. In fact, Dave was the single most helpful and encouraging person I encountered while in graduate school--I might still be there spinning wheels without him. He not only cared about my research, he cared about me as a person. He quite literally saved my defense seminar when my computer blue screened and I was too stressed to fix it. He went far out of his way to support me on that day (and many others), and, in his gently way, he helped me deal with my father's slow decline and eventual passing.

I hope that we can all follow Dave's example, and not only store our vast personal wealths of knowledge and information, but share them, amicably, not for our own personal benefit, but for everyone's.
Posted by Rob Sarison on December 17, 2013
Dave the Wave. A sweet gentle soul with a puckish wit and a voice like an angel. Last time I saw Dave was about 6 years ago when he stayed at my place in San Francisco and we were up half the night running though our repertoire of all the songs we used to play together, first at Cornell and then especially in the year we both lived in LA, During that time we hung out often, taking amazing road trips to Joshua Tree and up to SF. There was this "On the Road" magic we had, always meeting cool people and finding ourselves in interesting situations. I will miss harmonizing with you my old friend. Rest in peace.
Posted by Peter Minnett on December 17, 2013
The news of Dave’s death is both saddening and shocking. He was a valued member of the Satellite Sea Surface Temperature community, bringing novel viewpoints and experience to discussions. He had a unique perspective on how satellite data could be used to improve understanding of ecosystems and bio-physical interactions. We will all miss Dave’s gentle sense of humor and cheerful demeanor. Deepest sympathy to his family and friends.
Posted by Jorge Vazquez on December 17, 2013
When I heard the news I was in tears. Dave was a special friend to the PO.DAAC always willing to share his knowledge and expertise. He was instrumental in setting the standard for delivery of operational products. he warmth and friendship will be missed.
Posted by Peter Nesbett on December 17, 2013
I first met Dave in the fall of 1984. My wife Shelly and I last saw him on December 28, 2008.

In 1984, Dave was a curious creature. He was my freshman college roommate (one of three). I remember waking up in the middle of the night or coming home late from a party and finding Dave sitting on the couch in the common area of our dorm suite, with the lights out and the television off. This seemed odd. I quickly got used to it. He was shy back then—I don’t really remember him coming out of his shell until later in college—so if I asked him what he was thinking about, he’d usually look away, and then with a grin say something about a mathematical or scientific problem that I didn't understand. At first, I thought he was ribbing me (early in our relationship he liked to tease me with such subtlety that I was never really sure when he was or was not being fecetious). In time, I began to realize that Dave really did like to be alone in those moments. It was his time to be with that extraordinary mind of his. Thinking back now, he appears to me almost sage-like.

Through college, Dave became more of a friend, though truth be told, he was closer to my then girlfriend than he was to me—they shared a disdain for the college social activities in which I indulged. When my girlfriend went through some tough times, Dave took care of her. When she and I graduated and moved to New York, Dave went West, though he would come back and visit. When she and I went through the roughest of our rough patches, Dave, who prided himself at that time on being both a matchmaker and a caretaker, tried to counsel us. He wanted us to be happy and together so badly that he talked me into waking her up one New Year’s eve at 3 a.m. and proposing to her, which I did while he waited outside the room. Even at the time I knew it was a bad idea, but I followed his advice. I figured Dave knew better than I did and that with commitment the situation would improve. The relationship ended before we made it to the altar.

I visited Dave in Los Angeles a number of times. One time I told that I didn't want to put him out so I was going to stay in a hotel. Wanting to play host, he talked me to stay with him instead. When I arrived, he picked me up in his art-car (covered in seashells) and surprised me with, “We aren’t going to stay at my place…I don’t have a place right now, but it is no big deal, I’ve got us set up,” and courtesy of a mutual friend who has also written on this site (Ashley), we stayed in a large Hollywood home where she was house-sitting. The situation was perfect until the third night when the owner phoned to say that he was coming back early and Ashley needed to be out immediately. That night I ended up sleeping on the floor in Dave’s campus office (he kept a sleeping bag there) while he pulled an all-nighter working at his computer on a report that was due in the morning.

I never made it to Hawaii. David regularly traveled back to the mainland, and seemed to periodically ‘pop up’ in my life, often arriving on short notice. Visiting my now-wife Shelly and I in Seattle, I remember Dave almost bragging about the life he had made for himself out in the middle of the Pacific. I remember him talking about the incredible flora and fauna, of sea turtles, of living in near isolation “on the other side of the island.” He talked about his love of being on the water. About spending time on FLIP ships. And about having this second-life as a producer/promoter of local bands.

Then things seemed to change. As happens to all of us, he had what he saw as a professional setback. I don't remember the exact details but I remember that his aspirations to complete his PhD had been thwarted by some bureaucratic snafu. Understandably, he was very upset about it. He said that he would never be able to get the kind of job he wanted; that he would have to start his career over. I don't remember if he was still living in Hawaii when he told me this, though I think he was.

The next and last time I saw Dave was on December 28, 2008. I didn’t recognize him. He’d already been in Monterey by that point for probably five years. He emailed me on December 27th to say that he would be in New York the following day and that he wanted to visit. I told him to come up to the art gallery Shelly and I were running in Harlem.

Before lunch, a man and a woman walked into the gallery. The man smiled at me. I asked if I could help them. After a long, awkward silence, I realized it was Dave. Dave. Wow. He looked so much older. He had gained so much weight. His hair was cut short. Even knowing it was him, it took me a long time to see through the surface of this person who was standing in front of me to the person I had always known.

The four of us went and had lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, then headed back to our apartment, where we spent the next six-plus hours talking, laughing, and drinking rum. Dave didn’t look like he was in great physical shape—he was too, too big, there was no question about that—but he didn’t look anything like he does in the most recent pictures. (I am still in disbelief that this boyish creature could age so quickly.) He was in excellent spirits; he still had that puckish charm. We talked about everything—it seemed there wasn’t a conversation Dave couldn't carry--and he seemed to happy in his new life in Monterey, with new friends and colleagues, new work adventures, the softball team, and more. Well after dark, Dave’s friend Miranda motioned that it was time for them to go. I remember hugging his now large frame and him giving me a long, very sweet hug back. And I remember that when he left, I felt that he was leaving too soon.

Dave, I am going to miss you so much. It is hard for me accept the fact that several years from now, you won't surprise us with a visit. If there is a heaven, I imagine you are sitting quietly on a cloud in the dark, with a bemused look on your face, while radical light plays like music in your skull.

From A.R. Ammons, who taught at Cornell when we were there. Perhaps you already know it:

"He held radical light
as music in his skull: music
turned, as
over ridges immanences of evening light
rise, turned
back over the furrows of his brain
into the dark, shuddered,
shot out again
in long swaying swirls of sound:

reality had little weight in his transcendence
so he
had trouble keeping
his feet on the ground, was
terrified by that
and liked himself, and others, mostly
under roofs:
nevertheless, when the
light churned and changed

his head to music, nothing could keep him
off the mountains, his
head back, mouth working,
wrestling to say, to cut loose
from the high unimaginable hook:
released, hidden from stars, he ate,
burped, said he was like any one
of us: demanded he
was like any one of us."
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Recent Tributes
Posted by Ashley Wilson on October 14, 2019
Miss you, Dave. I wish I could share the changes in the last 5 years of my life. I met my boyfriend right when you died. He offered to take off work to go to your memorial. I wish you could met him. You'd also be proud of my job at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
Posted by Tom Foley on March 4, 2019
Remembering David on his Birthday with much love. He is forever in our hearts & will never be forgotten.
Foleys Sheffield U K
Posted by Jorge Vazquez on March 3, 2019
Dave, You are forever remembered by your colleagues and friends. You are never far from our hearts. Your spirit, vision, and kindness continues on through your friends and colleagues.
Recent stories

The Ballad of Dave Foley (E minor)

Shared by Cara Wilson on January 10, 2014

(found in one of his data notebooks)

He was promised the fog when he rolled into town
But the sun was shining bright and his boots kicked up the dust
He pitched his tent tight and settled in for the night
Praying for the moon to bring the chill on down
So curse the bright sun and the clear blue skies
I long for the fog and there I'd like to fly 

Dave's Days at USC

Shared by Tommy Dickey on December 16, 2013
Dave came to USC full of enthusiasm and energy for graduate studies with my group. He was the first author of one of my lab's very best papers. It was on observations of Pacific equatorial tropical instability waves and their biological effects. The in situ mooring measurements were unique and striking. In fact, the beauty of the time series inspired Margaret Leinen who was co-leading JGOFS Eqpac to dub them "unbelievable." I still wonder if it was a compliment or a statement of true disbelief! To me, this characterization kind of captured the essence of Dave. Brilliant with an impish smile! Dave was a team player going to sea to help other graduate students obtain data. One such project was conducted in the vicinity of the Honolulu outfall pipes to track the outfall plume. Not the most glamorous of oceanographic projects but we all had many laughs and great memories of the experience. Dave's love of the ocean could get a little out of hand I must admit. He bought a car from our French visiting scientist and almost immediately covered the car in seashells! That was Dave - quirky, fun loving, and brilliant! I feel blessed to have known Dave.

The Red Dress Party

Shared by Cara Wilson on December 14, 2013

A number of years ago I decided we should have a "Red Dress Party", where everyone, regardless of their gender, wears a red dress. This is one of my favorite pictures of Dave, he's so happy and relaxed, and he looks strangely right at home in a red dress. The picture was taken on the back porch of the home that Dave has lived in for the past 8 years or so. Dave didn't live there when the party was held, but he moved in shortly therafter, when the previous tenant moved out of town.