ASHTON — David Arthur Foster, 74, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Dec. 1, 2018 after a tough six month battle with cancer. He was born Nov. 10, 1944 to Thomas and Ethel Merriman Foster in Mendota. He graduated from Ashton High School in 1962. He married Susan Erickson on June 30, 1963 at Reynolds Church in rural Ashton. He was a third generation farmer who farmed for over 50 years in Lee County. He won a state-wide yield competition in both corn and soybeans in the same year and was most recently recognized for over 80 years of the Foster Family farming with Babson Farms. He served as a Boy Scout Leader alongside his best friend, Bill Warner, over the years taking many scouts camping and canoeing in Canada. Canoeing then became a competitive passion as Dave went on to win multiple Illinois and Iowa State Championships, competed in Nationals and trained with Olympians in canoe racing with his teammate, Joe Searls. He ran in the first Rockford Marathon and loved hiking, biking, playing jokes and pranks on his friends, as well as teasing and having fun with his kids, nieces, nephews and grandkids.
Survivors include his wife of 55+ years, Susan; children, Cindy (Jim) Knight of Ashton, Melissa (Dan) Gillette of Machesney Park, Matt (Melissa) Foster of West Brooklyn; grandchildren, Megan (Josh Egyed) and Walker Knight of Ashton, Kerri (Brett) Helwig of Dousman, Wis., Kalley Foster of Edwardsville, Kaleb (Lexus) Foster of Dixon and Suzanna and Janae Gillette of Machesney Park; siblings, sister Barbara (Dennis) Wager of Towanda, brother Bill (Kathy) Foster of The Villages, Fla. and sister-in-laws Shirley Foster of Dixon and Eugenia Foster of Griffin, Ga. and mother-in-law Lois Erickson of Ashton and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law, Ralph Erickson; brothers, Thomas and Donald Foster and grandson, Ryker Gillette.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Ashton Bible Church, 702 Main St. Ashton. Funeral service will be held on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 at 10 a.m. at Ashton Bible Church. A visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until time of service. A graveside service will follow at Ashton Cemetery. The family was assisted by www.beveragelyonsfamilyfh.com.
Memorials have been established to Ashton Bible Church and Serenity House.