Randel J. Foster

Randel J. Foster passed away September 23, 2012 with his daughters, Sandra and Debby by his side. Randel was born March 15, 1925 in Boswell, OK to Farris and Bessie Foster. The family moved to Klamath Falls, Or. Dad went to work at the Klamath Flower shop in 1941. While attending Klamath Union High School he left in June, 1943 to enlist in the United States Marine Corp. Dad had dreamed of joining the Marines since he was 6 years old and was very proud of his service to his country and lived by the motto "Once a Marine, Always a Marine". He always said there is no such thing as a former Marine. During his tour of duty in WWII he was assigned to the 1st Marine Division in the South Pacific which included 8 different locations. He loved to tell us the time they were in Pelelu and set up a rest camp on a coconut plantation. They were ordered to always wear their helmets when leaving their tents to avoid head injuries from the falling coconuts. His last assignment was in China. He was there for 3 months in Tensing and Peking. He was honorably discharged in January, 1946. Dad returned to Klamath Falls and to his job at Klamath Flower Shop. It was here he met out mother Bernice. They began dating and in February, 1948 they were married. He was called back into the Marines due to the Korean Conflict in November, 1950. While in Korea Dad wanted to help his fellow Marines send flowers to their loved ones. He started "Foster's Far Flung Flower Shop". The men would give him floral orders which he forwarded to the Klamath Flower Shop. He was honorably discharged in November, 1951 with the rank of Sergeant. In 1952 Dad and Mom moved to Eureka, CA after purchasing Dolson Floral Shop. They sold "the shop" in 1986. For the next 10 years Dad worked for Safeway in Arcata. A major highlight of his life was the October 2011 Honor Flight to Washington DC to view the WWII and Korean Memorials. Dad proudly wore the WWII hat given to all of the veterans on the trip. Dad was a member of the following organizations, 20-30 Club, Kiwanis, Henderson Center Merchants Association, Volunteer for Fire District 1 for 30 years, Member of Masons- Humboldt Lodge #79, Volunteer for SCOP (Senior Citizens on Patrol) with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office and the Marine Corp League. Mom and Dad were in the first group of volunteers from Fire District 1 to take the EMT course at General Hospital. Those years in Fire District 1 came to fruition when he saved the life of a neighbor, Barbara Denny, from a fire in her home. Ironically, in February, 2006, Mom and Dad's house was destroyed by fire. Dad was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Bernice. He parents, Farris and Bessie Foster; brother John Paul Foster; sister Margie Richardson; brother-in-law Tom Schubert; and nephew Fred Gehring. He is survived by daughters Sandra Sundell of Eureka and Debby (Larry) Ahlers-Rider of Petaluma, CA; sister Virginia (Chuck) Johnson of White City, Or; brother Lester Foster and Betty Hall; brother-in-law Darrell Richardson of Klamath Falls, Or.; brother-in-law Lou (Cathy) Gehring; sister-in-law Ruby Schubert of Klamath Falls, Or; grandchildren, Angie (Mike) Sundell Oremus of Corona, Ca; Cpl Jeff (Wednesday) Ahlers USMC of Oceanside, Ca; and Chrissy (Craig) Elwell of Cloverdale, Ca. He is also survived by great-grandchildren Jeremy and Amber Elwell and Jagger Williams-Ahlers, his much loved nieces and nephews and their families; "third daughter" Nikki (Patrick) Collier of Eureka; his longtime friends Fred Fletcher of Klamath Falls, Or; Chuck (Shirley) Green of Santa Rosa, Ca, and those he considered family: Jon Sundell, Carl Pitts, Rocky and Donna Clark, Lisa Hansen of Eureka; DeeDee Smith and Bonnie Jones from Petaluma, Ca. There are so many people who helped care for Dad in his last months. St. Joseph Home Health, Dr. Rodney Swenson and the staff at the Veteran's Medical Clinic, Dr. Andrew Michaels and Hospice of Humboldt. Randel's favorite color was purple. If you wish, wear a touch of purple. A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, 716 South Ave., Eureka, Ca. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Humboldt, Calvary Lutheran Church or North Coast Honor Flight. Please sign the guest book at www.Times-standard.com, click obits.

Published in Eureka Times-Standard from Oct. 12 to Oct. 13, 2012