Cecil G. Foster

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Retired Lt. Col. Cecil G. Foster, USAF, died July 5, 2016, peacefully in his Montana home. His memorial service was held at the St. Regis Community Bible Church. There was a fly-by of Air Force jets just before the service as a tribute. His burial will be later at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. Cecil was born in Porter Township, Midland County, to C. Everett Foster and Alma Tippin. After his mother's death from polio, he lived most of his growing up years on various farms with his grandparents. After he graduated from Midland High School in 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp and began his distinguished military career. While attending preflight school in San Antonio, Texas, he met his future wife, Margaret Mary Frazer. They were married Jan. 13, 1945 in San Antonio.

He served a distinguished military career spanning 31 years, flew fighter combat missions in the Korean and Vietnam wars, earning over 20 decorations, including the Congressional Gold Medal, two Silver Stars and a Purple Heart. He was also the 23rd Jet Ace in the Korean War, shooting down nine MIGS. He accumulated over 5,000 hours of flying time, mostly in fighter aircraft, F-86, F-86D, F-101 and F-4. In Michigan's Own Military & Space Museum is a F-86 plane with his name on the side and an exhibit dedicated to him. On Memorial Day 1997, he was the Grand Marshal of the Midland parade.

He was a devoted husband, loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather, cherishing his five sons, 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Survivors include his wife, Margaret; his five sons and their families, Cecil Jr. (Vicki) of Murphy, Texas, Bryan (Robi) of St. Regis, Texas, Rodney (Bryan) of Anaheim, Calif., Ronald (Margie) of Hudsonville and David (Lynda) of Florence, Ore.; two sisters, Niki Hoyle and Frances Syckle (Leon) of Midland. Passed before him were his sister, Esther Heminger; and two brothers, Arthur and Robert.

Cecil was a man of faith. Wherever he lived he found a church to attend and he lived his religion every day. The family has requested memorial donations be directed to Community Bible Church, 401 Main St., St. Regis, MT 59866.

Published in Midland Daily News on July 13, 2016
bullet Korean War bullet Purple Heart bullet U.S. Army bullet Vietnam War