Letter to the Editor

The passing of a generation

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

To the editor:

My father, Sam Foster, grew up in Cape Girardeau. After a career in the Army followed by government service, he returned to the Missouri Veterans Home in Cape to linger through the horrors of Alzheimer's. He died March 5 at the home. My mother, Dolly, who lives at Chateau Girardeau, was steadfastly with him all those 60-plus years.

Sam was the last of his siblings to go. Mary Spitzmiller and Harry Foster each died several years ago, leaving huge contributions to their community. Frieda and Toby Foster, my grandparents, ordinary people in any outsider's view, inspired in their children a desire to make a difference, to succeed in their work and family life and to keep going in the face of adversity.

Sam Foster was a remarkable man. In a surprising contrast to a military and government career, he displayed great creativity, artistic expression and wide interests. He drew and painted, wrote short stories and played several musical instruments. His sense of humor persists in his offspring. The inexplicable appeal of green tuna salad and blue milk has filtered down to a third generation.

He taught his children to love nature. And his patriotism persists in his son's military career. One daughter and a granddaughter married military men. It's clear that, although Sam the individual has passed on, his legacy still lives in a network of conversations that encompasses at least two more generations.


Richardson, Texas