Robert Watson "Tiny" Foster

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  • "Mary, what a privilege to learn about your father. Please..."
    - Marjorie Mitchell
  • "It is with much sadness that I learn of your loss. I..."
    - Alice Sloan Bond
  • "Your compassion for all was seen through your generous and..."
    - Libby Anne and Jeff Inabinet
  • "My deepest sympathy Trippett"
    - trippett boineau
  • "Marge and Bob were part of our earliest years at USC, and..."
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Service Information
Dunbar Funeral Home - Devine
3926 DEVINE ST
Columbia, SC
29205
(803)-771-7990
Obituary

Robert Watson "Tiny" Foster COLUMBIA, SC - A memorial service for Robert Watson "Tiny" Foster will be held 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral with a reception immediately thereafter, at Bob's home on Lake Katherine (1509 Milford Road). Visitation with the family will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, May 18, 2015, at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel. Bob was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on September 24, 1926, to Thomas Russell and Pamela Watson Foster. He was reared in Charleston and graduated from the High School of Charleston in 1944. Bob was appointed to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1945, and he went to sea at the end of World War II as Cadet Midshipman and graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1948. Bob received his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1950, where he served as Associate Editor-in-Chief for the USC Law Review. He added to his academic luster a Master of Law degree from Duke University in 1951, and was a Ford Foundation Fellow at Yale University School of Law from 1959 to 1960. Bob served America with distinction as an Officer in the United States Navy during the Korean War and continued serving as a legal Officer in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps until his retirement in 1986, at the rank of Captain. Bob began his legal career as a Professor of Law at the University of Louisville from 1951 to 1962. He then returned to South Carolina to serve as a Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina from 1962, until his retirement in 1991. While at USC Law School, he served as the Dean of the Law School from 1970 to 1976. In addition, he was American College of Trial Lawyers Emeritus Professor, Strom Thurmond Chair Professor, and was awarded the title Dean Emeritus and Distinguished Professor Emeritus by the Board of Trustees concurrent with his retirement in 1991. In 1976 to 1977, Bob was a visiting Professor at Oxford University and Distinguishing Visiting Chair Professor of Law, New York Law School, 1977 to 1978. He received the Order of the Palmetto from Governor Carroll A. Campbell in 1991. Bob had numerous scholarly publications throughout his Law School career in the areas of Uniform Commercial Code, Bankruptcy, Commercial Transactions, Uniform Consumer Credit Code and Arbitration. He was awarded the Distinguished Whitney North Seymour Sr. Award from the American Arbitration Association in 1979, in recognition of his national contributions to the responsible use of arbitration as a means of dispute resolution. Bob has served as the "Official Reporter," South Carolina Legislative Committee and Judicial Council on the Uniform Commercial Code enacted in South Carolina 1964 to 1966, with explanatory comments published in the South Carolina Code of Laws. He also served as the Reporter for the Uniform Consumer Credit Code, South Carolina Judicial Council, 1969 to 1971. Later, Bob was admitted to practice law in South Carolina Federal Courts - United States Court of Appeals-4th circuit, United States Supreme Court and United States Court of Military Appeals. His mother, Pamela Watson; his father, Thomas Russell; his wife of 51 years, Marjorie O'Neil; his daughter, Pamela Mitchell; and only brother, Thomas Russell, Jr. predeceased Tiny. He is survived by daughters, Libby Paul, Briggs Whiteford, and Mary Sadler; sons, Robbie Foster and Pat Foster; and nine grandchildren, Alden and Anna Paul, Ellie and Blair Whiteford, Burgess and Marjorie Anne Foster, Callie, Gene and Joe Sadler. Bob Foster led his life inspired by his high school motto: "We come to learn, we leave to serve." Education and service to others dominated most of his adult life. He encouraged his children and grandchildren to be lifelong learners and avid travelers. Each grandchild received a gift of world travel from "Pah-Pah" on their 10th birthday. Bob is remembered as an active member of multiple Senior Groups at his blessed Trinity Cathedral community. He was also very active in the Trinity Episcopal Camp, Camp Kanuga. Bob spent many summers as a youth at Camp Kanuga in Hendersonville, NC, and considered it a sacred place. He supported Kanuga in many ways, sponsoring countless young children to "Camp Bob" during the summer months. He created an educational garden at Kanuga for all to learn the wonders of the natural world. He continued his environmental passion as an advocate for Coastal Conservation League and strongly supported the Nature Conservancy of South Carolina. Bob was a dedicated member of The Columbia Drama Club, an organization dedicated to the promotion of theater in Columbia. He supported the Drama Club for many decades as a past president and hosted many readings at his home. Bob was also an enthusiastic member of the Columbia Kosmos Club for over four decades. Kosmos is an organization with 36 members, split evenly between members of the faculty at USC ("gown") and distinguished citizens of Columbia ("town"). Its purpose was to instruct and entertain its members through "convivial discourse" concerning current and historical scholarly topics. Memorials may be made to Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 1100 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29201; or USC School of Law, 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 736, Columbia, SC 29208. Please sign the online guestbook at www.dunbarfunerals.com. Visit our guestbook at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ charleston
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Published in Charleston Post & Courier on May 18, 2015
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