William "Bill" James Foster, 53 of Truckee, CA, passed away December 24, 2012 from injuries he sustained in an avalanche while working at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort. Bill died in the mountains he loved so very much, while doing the work he was so passionate about.
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Bill was born July 15, 1959 in Lodi, CA, the sixth of seven children. His parents moved the family to Petaluma when he was an infant. Bill attended St. Vincent's and Petaluma High School. He moved to the Lake Tahoe area after high school in 1978 to pursue his love of the mountains and outdoors.
Bill began his professional career as a Ski Patroller at Northstar in 1981 and joined Alpine Meadows in 1987. He was a founding member and head trainer for Alpine's successful avalanche dog rescue program.
Bill is survived by his loving wife, Lisa, his mother and step-father LaVerne and David Noble of Petaluma, his father and step-mother, William Foster and Susan Willow of Santa Rosa; his siblings Laura Wiley, Peter (Dyan) Foster, Robert (Tracey) Foster, of Santa Rosa, Michael Foster of Willits, Lisa (Chris) Dawson of Sebastopol and preceded in death by his brother and sister in-law, Jeffery and Rebecca Foster; step-siblings Joanna (Windy) Noble of Cloverdale, David (Laurie) Noble of Sonoma, Tim (Miriam) Noble of Rocklin, Liz (Nick) Sower of Carmichael; In-laws; Roger and Leona Harris of Hurricane, UT, Sid and Shelley Harris of Truckee, Sonya Harris of San Diego as well as 24 nieces and nephews.
Bill's warm, infectious smile, vibrant eyes and big heart will be sorely missed by his family, legions of friends and those who were lucky enough to know him. Friends and family are invited to a gathering to remember Bill's life, 3:00 p.m. Saturday January 19th at the St Vincent Catholic Church Parish Hall in Petaluma.
Donations may be made to a memorial fund set up by Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Ski Resorts at the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe's new animal shelter, P.O. Box 9041, Truckee 96162 or hstt.org.
The Bill Foster Memorial Fund has been established with the Sierra Avalanche Center. The fund supports avalanche education programs. Donations can be made online at www.sierraavalanchecenter.org/donate.
Published in Petaluma Argus-Courier from Jan. 17 to Feb. 16, 2013