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Hon. Don A. Foster 1932-2012

Hon. Don A. FosterThe Honorable Don A. Foster, 79, of Ridgway passed away Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012, at Harrisburg Medical Center, after a lengthy struggle with cancer.

Judge Foster was born March 2, 1932, west of Ridgway on the family farm, to Joseph and Lottie (Baker) Foster. He graduated from Ridgway High School in 1949.

Don served his country from 1952 to 54 in the U.S. Army in Korea; he was awarded the Korean Service Medal. In 1957 he graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in zoology. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1960. While in Nashville he met and married Fay Smith on Sept. 2, 1959. Upon graduation, he returned to Ridgway and practiced law.

In 1962 he was elected Gallatin County Judge. Two years later he was appointed Associate Circuit Judge, and he became a Circuit Judge in 1970. He served the citizens of Gallatin County and the Second Circuit for over 46 years until his retirement in 2008.

He is survived by his wife, Fay, and four daughters, Kelly Foster of Marion, Tracy Kimbro of Apex, N.C., Meridith (Steve) Carder of Champaign and Mariah (Jason) Knight of Thompsonville. He was grandfather to seven grandchildren: Mary and Jeff Kimbro, Jolie and Savannah Knight, and Ella, Ava and Liza Carder. His eldest brother, Bertis J. Foster of Metropolis, also survives. Judge Foster was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Gene Foster; and sister, Wilma Wathen.

Judge Foster valued his family and community above all else. He is remembered for his annual sweet corn patch, his chocolate turtles at the holidays and the Popcorn Day Frog Jumping Contest.

Posted on February 23, 2012 by Chris Bonjean