Frank P. Foster (1922 - 2014)

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Frank P. Foster

Gilman/Augusta —Lt. Frank P. Foster ADC(AP)USN retired, died peacefully at his home March 27, 2014.

Frank P. Foster was born in Gilman, Montana on April 9, 1922 to George and Martha Foster. He grew up on the family homestead working the farm with his 6 sisters. He was a member of the local Boy Scout Troop and played tuba in the school band. Frank also played 6-man football and took up boxing with some of the other boys from the area. He worked on weekends in a local mechanic's garage to earn money for flying lessons. After graduating from Augusta High School in 1940, he enlisted in the United States Navy on Nov. 4, 1941. He attended boot camp at the Naval Training Station San Diego, then attended Aviation Machinist's Mate School and was assigned his first duty station at Naval Air Station, Norfolk, VA. In February 1944, he was selected for Flight School. He completed flight training and was commissioned Ensign in 1946. In 1949, while stationed at North Island, he married Virginia. The family moved frequently with the demands of military service to duty stations throughout the United States and Pacific Rim. He retired in 1962 as a Lieutenant after 21 years of service. Foster's decorations for service include Good Conduct, 2nd, and 3rd, and 4th Awards, National Defense, American Area Medal, American Defense, China Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal. He also had an extensive career with both national and international air carriers flying around the globe to countries including Japan, the Philippines, Morocco, India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Spain, Israel, England, Germany, Italy, Venezuela and Chile. He was hired by McDonnell Douglas in 1978 and worked as production test pilot until he retired in 1987 to focus on growing his prized naval oranges and pistachios. Although retired, he remained active as a flight instructor with McDonnell Douglas through the late 1990's. During his aviation career, Foster flew thousands of hours in both military and commercial aircraft. He was also licensed to fly helicopters. Frank was a true original jet stream cowboy.

Frank enjoyed spending time with his daughter and grandkids riding horses in Montana. He also enjoyed telling interesting stories of life on the homestead and sharing a laugh with all of his sisters at family reunions.

Frank is survived by daughter, Marcia (Bill) and Virginia's son Monte; Grandchildren Alex (Kelly), Tessa, Andrew(Bri), Jimmy; and great granddaughter Emery; sisters Emma, Millie, Opal and Helen. His constant companion, the dachshund, Pepper, also survives.

His wife, Virginia, and sisters Martha and Minnie predecease Frank.

He will be interred at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego with full military honors, April 9, 2014, at 13:30.

Condolences can be sent to the family at 6210 West U.S. Highway 12, Helena, MT 59601

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Apr. 9, 2014
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