Gordon D. Foster

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

All is well! Gordon D. Foster lived a long, loving, and faithful life. Born on Dec. 15, 1911, to James P. and Laura (Dunkin) Foster in rural Lebanon, Kan., (near Smith Center), he was the eldest of their four children. His siblings Genevieve (Foster) Maxey, Donald Foster, Lorraine (Foster) Clary, and their spouses, have all pre-deceased him. The Dunkin/Foster family moved to Missouri in the 1920s, and settled on a farm outside Garden City. Gordon graduated from Harrisonville High School, where he was an avid basketball player, in 1929. He married Velma Wright, and then went to work for Standard Oil Company, first in El Dorado Springs, Mo., then in Nevada, Mo., where he was the Bulk Agent for Standard (later Amoco) Oil for more than 35 years. The children and grandchildren of his farm customers long remained among his "coffee buddies."

Gordon served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, as an airplane mechanic, crew chief (Tech. Sgt.), and gunner with the 483rd Bomb Group (flying on B-17 aircraft), based in Foggia, Italy, near Naples. After completing his 25 missions successfully, he returned to California to train flight maintenance crews, before resuming civilian life in Nevada in 1945. One long-awaited daughter, Jane (Foster) Woodruff, now a Professor of Classical Languages and History at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., was born to Gordon and Velma in 1950. After Velma's death in 1958, Gordon married Frances Maahs, who with her two children, Ivan and Gwen, made his family whole again. After his retirement from Amoco Oil, Gordon and Frances owned and managed Fosters' Davis Paint Store in Nevada for about 10 years. They then enjoyed traveling, particularly to Scotland, Italy, Greece, and Israel, sometimes with church groups and sometimes as "chaperones" for groups from Nevada High School led by Myrtle Pickens.

Frances Foster died in 1996; Ivan and Gwen too are now gone, but their children and grandchildren have enriched Gordon's life for more than 40 years.

Gordon was a life-long, active member of the United Methodist Church, a Mason for more than 65 years, a member of Rotary and other service clubs, and he served a term on the Nevada Planning Commission. He enjoyed nothing more than gathering around a piano to sing (particularly "old-time" hymns and songs) with friends. Until very recently, he read voraciously, mostly non-fiction history (and often knew and remembered more than his Ph.D. daughter does). During his last weeks in hospital and care center, he regaled interested young doctors and nurses with accounts of World War II people and events.

Gordon is survived by his daughter, Jane; grandsons, Jeff Dreyer (and wife Carrie) of Nevada, Paul Dreyer (and wife Rachelle) of Bronaugh, and Hanz Maahs (and wife Heather) of Butler; great-grandchildren, Emma Dreyer, Beth Dreyer, Gib Dreyer, Johnnie Dreyer, and Lawson Maahs; sister-in-law, Anna Lee Martin of Kansas City; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pax nobiscum and Godspeed, Gordon. We'll see you soon.

Funeral services with a flag presentation will be held at 1:30 p.m., Monday, March 21, at the United Methodist Church, in Nevada, with the Rev. Sharon Freeman officiating. The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m., Sunday, at Ferry Funeral Home, in Nevada, and from 11 to noon, at the United Methodist Church on Monday.

Contributions may be made in his memory to the United Methodist Church in care of Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada.

View obituary and send condolences online at www.ferryfuneralhome.com.