Bertis J. Foster, 95, Passed away Sunday, December 20, 2020 at his home in Metropolis, IL.
Bert was born August 26, 1925 to Joe and Lottie Baker Foster of Ridgway, IL. After graduating from Ridgway High School in 1943, he joined the U.S. Navy. He was honorably discharged in 1946 having obtained the rank of Pharmacist’s Mate 3rd Class. Bert served the Navy in WWII as a medic and was the last surviving member of his fellow Medic Training Group known as the Dirty Thirty.
After service, he returned home and took work driving a gas truck for Farm Services. More importantly he contacted the young woman, Helen Margaret Vineyard, who at age 12 had offered the 14-year-old Bertis a piece of gum at the movie theatre. He had told himself that night she was the girl he would someday marry. So, him at age 21 and her 19 and a nursing student at Memphis State University, they had their first date and 3 months later they married on January 29, 1947.
In 1955 Bert and Helen moved to Metropolis for his new job as insurance agent for the IL Farm Bureau. In 1962, Bert became a State Farm Insurance Agent and retired from State Farm after 33 years in 1995 at the age of 70. Bert served as the Southern Illinois Coordinator for Khoury League Baseball for 28 years. Bertis loved fishing, bowling, and coaching his son’s baseball and basketball teams. He loved returning to Ridgway for the annual Popcorn Day Celebration and family reunion. He was still dancing at the age of 95 and was a mainstay at Happy Hearts Senior Center. He never met a stranger or forgot a face. He managed the St. Louis Baseball Cardinals from his recliner. In his later years especially, he always had a word of advice or health tip to share. He was kind and generous and sometimes outrageous but he truly loved people.
Bert and Helen were married 42 years before her death in 1989. Together they enjoyed bowling, dancing, their card playing groups and traveling.
Bert is survived by his sons, Terry (Tamia), John (Janet) and Todd; his granddaughters, Kara (John) Heine, Kandace Foster, Lyndsi (Chris) Markus and Wendy Foster; and great granddaughters, Olivia Heine, Hannah Heine, Olive Markus and Hattie Markus; his second wife, Jackie Foster; and sister-in-law, Fay Foster of Ridgway.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Helen; his daughter, Cathy Luann Foster; his 2 brothers and 1 sister.
Bert was a member of Metropolis Community Christian Church and the American Legion.
Funeral services will be held at 12 noon on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at the First Baptist Church of Metropolis with Rev. Mike Hardison officiating. Burial will follow with military rites in Metropolis Memorial Gardens. The family invites friends to a visitation from 10 am until the funeral service at the First Baptist Church on Wednesday, December 23rd. We ask that those attending wear a face covering and practice customarily accepted social distancing.
Memorials may be sent to American Legion, 321 Market Street, Metropolis, IL 62960 or Happy Hearts Senior Center of Metropolis 701 Market Street, Metropolis, IL 62960. Online condolences may be left at www.aikinsfarmer-millerfh.com.
Arrangements are entrusted to Aikins-Farmer-Loftus-McManus Funeral Home.
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American Legion Post 306
321 Market Street, Metropolis IL 62960
Happy Hearts Senior Center
701 Ferry Street, Metropolis IL 62960