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Gloria Anne Mains Flinter Foss

Obituary
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WILLIAMSBURG - Gloria Anne Mains Flinter Foss, wife of General John W. Foss (Retired) died on 26 June, 2014. She was born to Henry and Isabella Mains on 29 April, 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland. As a young girl she lived at the family hotel in Glasgow. In a German bombing raid in 1940, she and her family survived a near miss which destroyed the home across the street. Later the family moved to East Anglia so her father could work at one of the American bomber bases as a mechanic. There they endured the hardships of wartime Britain, with buzz bombs attacks in 1944-1945. Her father died in 1945, and the family returned to Glasgow in 1948. She was an excellent student, and played field hockey for her school. In December 1951 her mother died from cancer. Her aunt had married a US Army doctor, Marcus Flinter and the couple adopted Gloria and her younger brother. She and her brother then crossed the Atlantic by ship to reach her aunt and uncle, stationed in Venezuela. Their next post was Fort Benning, where Gloria graduated from Columbus High School and went on to nursing school. In 1956 she met John Foss, and within months the two were married. When he was transferred to Germany, she remained in Georgia to complete her nursing training and graduated salutatorian of her class. She then rejoined John in Germany and began her thirty-three year tour as an Army wife. While in Germany their first child, John was born. A transfer back to Fort Benning lasted three and a half years, as she remained there while John had a tour in Korea. In 1961 their second child, Kevin was born. Their next station was West Point, where John served as an instructor, and later became the first exchange instructor to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, England. While there, their child, Julia, was born in 1966. With the three children, she moved to Florida to live near her adoptive father while John had a combat tour in Vietnam. After a year at Fort Leavenworth and the Staff College, John returned to Vietnam and Gloria and the family moved back to Florida. During his absences, Gloria maintained the family and kept them happy with trips to the beach and the Apollo launches. On his return from Vietnam, the family was transferred to Germany, where they enjoyed travel and skiing for two years. They were stationed at several more posts in the US over the next several years: Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania; Fort Monroe, Virginia and Fort Hood, Texas. After his promotion to Brigadier General, the family went to the Philippines as part of the diplomatic station. Then they had their third tour of Germany, followed by a return to Fort Benning. As the family moved around, Gloria was always active in the OWC, and volunteered in the Red Cross chapters at each post. She spent a great deal of time helping the Army community. From Benning they moved to Fort Bragg for three years, then a year at Fort Myer and the Pentagon. In 1989 their final tour was two years as CG TRADOC at Fort Monroe. Upon retirement, they moved to Kingsmill. Her time there was spent in travel to England, Scotland, Germany, and China; in activities at the sports club; and in caring for the many animals and birds (from hummingbirds to hawks) that came to the house. She was a great Mom to her three children; John (wife Theresa); Kevin (wife Cristina) and Julia (husband Jimmy). She passed her passions for nature and animals to all of her children, along with her love of reading and books. Her inspiration also made all three excellent cooks. She loved her three grandchildren Bryana, Kyla and Brady and supported them in many ways. All got to see her in her last days. Gloria was also a steady participant at St. Bede Catholic Church. Gloria had friends across the world who prayed for her during her illness. She was truly a super Mom and Grandma. A visitation will take place on Friday, July 4 from 6-8pm at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Rd., Williamsburg, VA 23188. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, July 5, at 11am, at St. Bede Roman Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Online condolences may be offered at www.nelsencares.com.
Published in Daily Press on July 1, 2014
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