William Thomas â€œBillyâ€� Foster, beloved son, father and grandfather went to be with Our Lord on May 13, 2018. He was born on November 10, 1928 in Warwick County, Newport News, Virginia. Our father was a very proud alumnus of Newport News High School where he played football and ran track. His athletic and academic achievements resulted in a college scholarship, which he chose to forego in order to attend the Newport News Apprentice School. His time at the apprentice school was cut short by the Korean War. He served in the USAF from 1951-1954 as a Radio Technician, stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois and Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts. He was proud to serve his country and often remarked that those years were an invaluable experience for him. Upon returning home from his wartime service in 1954 he began his lifelong career with the C&O Railroad, first as a brakeman and later as a yardmaster. He made many friends while in service with the railroad and thoroughly loved his job. He retired in 1990 after 36 years of faithful service. He was a proud father and grandfather and an excellent provider. He worked long, hard hours in order to take care of his family. He stressed hard work, academic success and most importantly, a sense of personal responsibility and fair play to his daughters. His sage advice has helped us through many trials in life. He was also a fun-loving Dad with whom we had many wonderful times. His example taught us the importance of being kind. He never met a stranger and would always stop to help those in need, including many stray furry friends. He had so many friends during his lifetime, many of whom passed on before him. He will be forever loved, missed and never forgotten. While he spent the majority of his life on the peninsula, he was able to build his dream home on the Severn River at Stumps Point in Hayes, VA. He served as his own general contractor, performing most of the work on his own and contracting out only select jobs. The home was situated such that it had a stunning view of the Severn River and mouth of the Mobjack Bay. The remoteness of the property lent itself to such a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere that could only be broken by our fatherâ€™s osprey friends. The ospreys were really more like permanent residents as they had their own nest and regularly birthed and raised their young there. They brought him so much joy over the years and are so fondly remembered in our hearts. We are proud of our father for many reasons, least of which, for how he handled the debilitating effects of Parkinsonâ€™s disease. He faced a horrific disease with courage, patience, strength and grace. We know that he is now free of pain and is at peace; and while our hearts are broken because he is not here with us, we can rejoice that he is with God. He is preceded in rest by his parents, Mamie Malvina Haight and Harry Howard Foster, his stepfather J.T. Cox, his sisters Mary â€œPeachesâ€� Walker and Doris Harrison and his brother, Harry H. â€œBusterâ€� Foster, Jr. He is survived by 3 daughters: Lisa (Eddy) Ausura, Darcie (Larry) Akin and Laura Foster, 10 grandchildren, Mary Selvy, William Foster, David (Jessica) Ausura, Andrew (Sarah) Pard, Rachel (Tony) Brand, Sarah Ausura, Katherine Ausura and Bethany Ausura, Bradley Pard, and Matthew Foster and 2 great grandchildren Michael and Madison Selvy. We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the staff at James River Convalescent for their loving care of our father. May God bless you in your work. A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, May 19, at Peninsula Funeral Home with the family receiving friends beginning at 10 a.m. at the funeral home. The burial will immediately follow the service in Peninsula Memorial Park.
Published in Daily Press on May 16, 2018.