Samuel Foster

Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Samuel Franklin Foster was born in St. Mary, Mo., Oct. 30, 1917. He was the son of Ernest Brown Foster and Frieda Anna McClatchey Foster, and the older brother of Harry Foster and Mary Foster Spitzmiller, both deceased.

Sam grew up in Cape Girardeau and graduated from Central High School. He attended Southeast Missouri State University, but did not complete a degree.

He worked in several locations for F.W. Woolworth before joining the U.S. Army in March 1941. During his 26 years of sevice to his country, he served in two wars: in the European Theater of World War II and in the Korean War.

His numerous peacetime duty stations included Fort Sill, Fort Chaffee, Fort Hood and Fort Leavenworth. He served as artillery adviser to the Iranian Army during the early 1960s. He later graduated from the Defense Language Institute with proficiency in Spanish and went on to serve as the artillery adviser to the Army of Ecuador.

He also headed the committee representing the United States on the Quadripartite Commission of English-Speaking Countries. He earned numerous medals, among them the Army commendation, Victory Medal, American Defense Service, American Campaign Service, European/African/Middle East Campaign, National Defense Service. Sam Foster retired from the Army in 1968 with the rank of lieutenant colonel, and expert rifle.

After retirement from the Army, he worked for General Services Administration in St. Louis until his final retirement in 1976.

The next decade was spent in travel, volunteer work, and gardening. He was active in the Republican Party. His striking resemblance to Ronald Reagan created quite a stir at the 1981 Presidential Inaugural Ball.

He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 1987. In 1997 he entered Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau, where he lived until his death.

On May 22, 1943, Sam Foster married Dolly Doris Callahan, daughter of Grover and Eunice Mooney Callahan of Ellington, Mo.

She survived him, as do their children, Mary Sue Foster of Dallas, Texas, Kate Foster Dunn of San Diego, Calif., Robert Ernest Foster of Rockford, Ill., Nancy Jeanette Foster of Ellington.

In addition, he is survived by five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews in the Cape Girardeau area, and a large extended family.

He will be buried with full military honors at Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield, with private graveside service at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Ford and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.