Belleville, IL – David D. Foree, a leading figure in the Metro-East Labor Movement from the 1960s through the 2000s, died on Tuesday, April 20 at Memorial Hospital in Belleville.
Foree, 81, became assistant business manager of IBEW Local 309 in 1990 and then business manager in 1999. In 2001, he retired from the IBEW and became executive secretary-treasurer of the Southwestern Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council and continued there until 2005.
A lifelong resident of the area, Brother Foree was born Oct. 7, 1939 in Belleville. He graduated from Belleville Township High School in 1957 and then served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Korea.
In 1962, he returned to join Local 309.
“David worked tirelessly for the Labor Movement from that point forward,” said Tim Evans, the current IBEW 309 business manager. “He was an inside wireman, rising through the ranks to serve on many committees. David was involved in everything the local did, from negotiating to serving on many different trust funds.”
In recent years, and continuing until his passing, Brother Foree had worked with BMO Harris banks as a Labor representative. He also was active with the Eagles, Moose and VFW.
“David had a remarkable career that anyone would be proud to have,” Evans said. “He will be remembered by the people he was able to touch in his lifetime. He became somewhat of a mentor on a personal note, and was instrumental in my getting involved with the local union. We have lost a true friend to the Labor Movement.”
Brother Foree was proceeded in death by his wife, Phyliss J., nee Simpkins, Foree; his parents, Fred and Ottillia Foree; stepson Dana Allen Bonebrake; brothers Robert, Charles and William Foree; brother-in-law David Klingel and sister-in-law Patsy Foree.
He is survived by his sons Robert J. Foree, of Nashville, Tenn. and David E. Foree, of Belleville; daughters Katheryn M. Lovelace and Charleen M. Foree; stepdaughter Cherrie Coppedge, of Collinsville; grandchildren Sean Michael Foree, Lauren Nicole Foree, Taylor Rose Foree, Joshua David Foree, Patrick Foree, Gwyn Winstead, Brandy Kelley Coppedge and Danny Guffey Coppedge; brother Frank Foree, of Cadiz ,Ky.; sister Ruth Klingel, of Belleville, sister-in-law Marlene Foree, of Belleville; and nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren.
A funeral was held April 26 at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville. Memorials may be made to Local 309’s Distressed Members program. Call (618) 345-5112 to arrange a gift.