William Earl Foster, 85, of Key Largo, FL, and Linville Ridge, NC, died Friday, August 17, 2007.
Mr. Foster was born November 23, 1921, in Toronto, Canada. In 1933 he moved with his family to Elyria, which would become his home for much of his life. He had a very happy and active childhood, and it was during this time that he learned to bird hunt from his grandfather, Claude Foster, with whom he enjoyed an especially close relationship. Mr. Foster graduated from Culver Military Academy in 1941. He credited Culver with teaching him the discipline and honor which would serve him well for the remainder of his life.
In 1942 he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army's field artillery. He subsequently joined the Army Air Corps where he served as a pilot and flight instructor for the remainder of the war. After his discharge, Mr. Foster took a job as a stock chaser at General Industries in Elyria, where he quickly ascended the ranks to become President in 1957. During his 15 year tenure, the company flourished, increasing sales 10-fold and becoming the largest custom molder of plastics in the country. He served on the boards of many local businesses including National City Bank of Cleveland, The Elyria Telephone Company, Kasper Foundry and The Elyria Company.
A major theme in Mr. Foster's life was serving his community. He was president of the Lorain County Sheriff's Advisory Council, The Elyria Country Club, The Lorain County Community Foundation, the Cleveland Chapter of the Young President's Organization and the Ocean Reef Art League. He also served as commander of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and as chairman of the Card Sound Sailing Club race committee.
He is survived by his wife, Elsie Foster; brother, Donald Foster; his three children; and five grandchildren.
Mr. Foster was preceded in death by his son, William E. Foster, Jr., who died serving his country in Vietnam; wife, Mary Jo Foster; and parents, Earl and Frances Foster.
A Memorial Service will be held at the Key Largo Anglers Club at a later date.