Robert John Foy of Provincetown died on March 26, 2023 after a short illness while in hospice care. He was 93.
Bob was born on April 12, 1929 in Concord, N.H. to the late Roland Alexander Foy and Irene Kiley Foy. He graduated from St. John High School in Concord in 1947.
Bob started college but then decided to volunteer for the U.S. Army to serve in the Korean War. After his military service, he continued his education and eventually earned a Ph.D. in linguistics from Harvard University in 1966.
Bob started his career as an English teacher and worked his way up to become the vice chancellor of UMass Lowell. He was instrumental in the merger of Lowell Tech and Lowell State College into what we now UMass Lowell. He retired in 1994 after 35 years.
Bob was a faithful churchgoer at both St. Peter the Apostle in Provincetown and St. Pius X Church in Manchester, N.H. He had a great interest in Catholic traditions and ceremonies. He was also a member of Walter Welsh Knights of Columbus and a proud supporter of the Izzy Foundation’s work in support of pediatric cancer patients and their families.
A lover of history, Bob was also a skilled self-taught carpenter who enjoyed restoring and preserving historic buildings. In his later years, he enjoyed relaxing in his front yard and socializing with neighbors and Provincetown visitors.
Bob loved dogs and had several; he was also generous to family members, friends, and anyone in need.
Bob is survived by his sister-in-law, Leeanne Connolly; a nephew, David Knapp, and wife Nina Knapp of Epsom, N.H.; and several cousins. He also leaves his longtime neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Murphy and their daughters Debbie Thompson and Rebecca Murphy-Van Cleave, as well as his late partner Paul Smith’s nephew, David Smith, and partner Daniel Mowery of Manchester, N.H.
Bob was predeceased by his partner of 38 years, Paul E. Smith, and by his second long-term partner, Joseph Connelly, who died in 2022. Bob was also predeceased by his sister, Barbara Knapp.
In lieu of flowers, donations may go to the Izzy Foundation, P.O. Box 2326, Providence, R.I. 02903 or to a local animal shelter.