When my great grandfather, John Foley, left Toronto in January 1927 on a business trip to California, he wasn’t expected to die during his journey. One Toronto newspaper described his sudden death in the following obituary:
“Dies Suddenly In California
Late John Foley Left Toronto on January 4, Caring for Old Friend on the Trip
Two weeks to the day after leaving Toronto with his wife for a visit to California, the remains of John Foley, retired building contractor will be carried to the grave in Mount Hope Cemetery.
Prior to going away he had been tendered a party at which an orchestra provided music for the many friends who assembled to bid him a farewell. He was accompanied on the journey by M. J. Gloster aged 83. Mr. Foley, who was in his 63rd year, having undertaken to look after his old friend on the journey.
Mr. Gloster, who is growing feeble, had deferred his own departure so that he might have the company and assistance of a younger and vigourous companion. Mr. Foley owned property in California and intended to dispose of it while there. Although he had suffered from a heart disorder for some time, he was apparently in good health when he left Toronto, and announcement of his demise came as a great shock to members of his family and to his friends.
Shortly after reaching California he suffered a heart attack. Mr. Foley was a life-long resident of the east end and a well known sand and gravel contractor. He attended St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church. Besides his wife he is survived by one daughter Mrs. Graham O’Neill, three sons, Clarence, Gerald, and John; one brother, John and a sister, Mrs. Shaughnessy.
The remains will reach Toronto on Monday. Deceased was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Holy Name Society. His home was at 249 Queensdale avenue.”