John O. Foster, 85

Published 4:32pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Born: May 16, 1927

Died: April 21, 2013

Mr. John O. Foster, 85, of Niles, Mich., died on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at Lakeland Community Hospital in Niles following an extended illness.


He was born on May 16, 1927 in Niles to Fred Livengood and Alma Johanna (Radewald) Foster, and lived here all of his life.  He graduated from Niles High School, and completed several agricultural short courses at Michigan State University.  He was a farmer, specializing in grain and livestock.

During World War II, the selective service board determined his vocation to be essential to the national security, and deferred him from military service.  In addition to farming, he also drove trucks transporting agricultural goods, and later assisted with specialized long-distance heavy haul transport, visiting most of the United States.

“John O.” was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Niles.  He served as an elected member of the Niles Township Board, had been a volunteer 4-H leader, and was a long-time supporter and active volunteer at the Berrien County Youth Fair, including many years announcing the tractor pulling contest.  As a young man he was involved with the Junior Farm Bureau.  He enjoyed the family cottage near Lake Ann, Michigan, especially feeding the deer and turkeys.

He also enjoyed reading the newspaper every morning, and looking to see if his name appeared on the obituary page.

On Nov. 28, 1953 at First Presbyterian Church he married the former Emily Rose Teichman with whom he celebrated last year the fifty-ninth anniversary of their wedding.

Surviving family includes his wife, Emily and their children, Leona J. Foster of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Frederick W. Foster and William J. Foster, both of Niles; grandsons Landon Foster, Zachary Foster, and Gabe Foster; and John’s sisters, Barbra (and Ed) Kolm of Berrien Springs and Frances Quirk of Niles; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Dale Foster and Harry Foster.

The sharing of memories and visitation for John O. Foster will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at the Berrien County Youth Fair (Gate 1 entrance), led by the Rev. Fran Lane-Lawrence of First Presbyterian Church, and concluding with a reception.  Committal services will follow when the family gathers privately with Rev. Lane-Lawrence at the graveside at Union Cemetery in Berrien Center, Michigan.

Contributions in memory of John may be made to the Berrien County Youth Fair in lieu of flowers.  Arrangements were made at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles.

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