Cecil Bunkley Foster
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June 10, 1927 – May 1, 2012
Cecil Bunkley Foster is the fourth son born of 12 siblings to the union of Jonas Ceophas Foster and Polly Townsend Foster, in Seymour, Texas. He grew up and attended school in Childress, TX., and was baptized at St. John Baptist Church at the age of seven by Rev. William Brown. He attended high school at Mary Etta Price and was active in basketball, baseball and the school choir where his melodious, smooth voice earned him the nickname of the "Crooner." He graduated at the top of his class as Valedictorian of the Class of '48.
Cecil enlisted in the Navy immediately following graduation from high school. In the Navy, he visited many countries and was exposed to different people and cultures, including Scotland, England, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy, Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines or "PI", Okinawa, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Vietnam, and Singapore. He served aboard the USS BROWN DD546, USS WEDDERBURN DD684, USS SIMON LAKE AS33, USS HUNLEY AS31, USS BASIL ONE DD824, USS MOUNT HOOD AE29, USS MAUNA KEA AE22, USS GEORGE DE697, USS HECTOR AR7, and USS HANCOCK CVA19. For meritorious service, Cecil was awarded the Good Conduct Medal three times, the National Defense Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal. As a Machinist Mate First Class Petty Officer, he retired from his beloved Navy after serving 20 years, four months of active duty in 1978. Counting time he spent as a Navy Reservist, Cecil's naval career spans 32 years and three wars, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam.
After leaving the Navy, Cecil continued to serve his country with dedication and devotion as a civil servant. He worked for the Department of the Navy in public works where was a heavy equipment operator and received training in hazardous waste operations to prepare for terrorist attack or natural disater. He received letters of appreciation and certificates of commendation for exemplary performance and devotion to his job responsibilities.
Cecil was not all work and no play. When he was not working, he was playing golf. He loved the game. He was a golfer with a skill set that made him sought after for team tournaments and competitions. Cecil loved the game so that he would rather golf than eat. He was very, very proud of Tiger Woods and would sing his praises to anyone who would listen. When he could no longer play the game, due to symptoms of MS, multiple sclerosis, he worked as a respected Marshall at Blue Rock Golf Course in Vallejo, CA.
In 1980, Cecil met the true love of his life, Esther B. Herndon. After a four-year courtship, they were joined in marriage, Sept. 28, 1984. It was a very, very happy day in his life.
Cecil was a member of Stanley Y. Beverly Lodge #108 F & AM (PHA), Veritas Consistory #327, Golden Star #90 OES (Order of Eastern Star), life member of Post 1123 of the VFW (Veteran of Foreign Wars), and a former member of Alooma Temple #212. He attended church services at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Vallejo.
He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Esther B. Foster; daughters, Gloria Jean, Arlington, TX., Deborah, Waldorf, MD., and Kathaleen, Albuquerque, NM., Angelique Jones (James Macmillan), Cary, NC., Kisshelle Wilson (Maurice), Mesa, AZ.; son, Cornelius A. (Jeanette), Reno, NV.; surviving siblings, Edwin "Dusty"(Jean), Albuquerque, NM., Bobby (Ami), Tucker, GA., and Alma Faye Harris, Austin, TX.; In-Laws, Joan (Matt) Jones, James (Samantha) Carter, Joseph (Mattie) Carter, Mattie Coleman, Ava Tate Luv, Isaac Carter, Joseph Lewis, Velma Foster; grandchildren, Ian Foster, Camille Crockett, Kendric Carreker, Johnathan Strong, Jason Foster, Michell Foster, James Rogers, Marqisa (Levi) Hansmeier, Marqaia Daniels, Joshua Daniels, Madison Daniels, Yolanda Faye McClain, Gwendolyn Barker, Phyllis Ruff, Charles McClain, Tyrell Watson, DeShonda Young, Marvin Verter, Ava Jones, Ada (Michael), Jones-Dippel, JoAnn Jones-Grimes, Antionne Helton, Debra Coleman, Justin Butler, Robert Williams Jr., Esther Williams, Melvin Green and Williie James Bates; 28 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, six brothers, Joseph, Dallas, TX., Lovell, Albuquerque, NM., Walter Andrew, College Station, TX., William Townsend, Amarillo, TX., and Jonas Louis, Ft Worth, TX.; three sisters, Ella Mae Burkley, Willi JoAgnes Hill, and Serena Anne Williams.
The family request that donations be made to the Hospice of Kaiser Hospital in lieu of flowers. 975 Sereno Drive, Vallejo, CA 94589.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, May 9, from 3 to 8 p.m., with a Quiet Hour at 7 p.m., at Wiggins-Knipp Funeral Home 524 Capitol St., Vallejo, CA. Services to be held Thursday, May 10, at 11 a.m., at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 1905 Florida St., Vallejo, CA 94590. Interment to take place Tuesday, May 15, at 12:30 p.m., at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Rd., Dixon, CA 95620. Arrangements by Wiggins-Knipp Funeral Home, Vallejo, CA.
Published in TimesHeraldOnline on May 6, 2012
Wiggins-Knipp Funeral Home
524 Capitol Street Vallejo, CA 94590