Robert George Foster

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Robert George (Bob) Foster passed away June 6 in Rockford, IL. He was born April 4, 1944, in Chicago, IL, the son of Robert and Marion (Kafka) Foster. His father was from the Brazil/Mystic area. After attending Lane Tech High in Chicago his freshman year, Bob finished his final three years at CHS, while living with his paternal grandparents in Brazil. He graduated in 1963 then completed his Associates degree at Centerville Community College.
Bob's outgoing, witty, fun-loving personality made him very popular at CHS and CCC and he made many lasting friendships. He was extremely gifted as a pitcher for CHS and Centerville Community College, was an outstanding first-chair clarinetist in the CHS band and performed many solo recitals, and was an accomplished pocket billiards player.
Long-time friend Jerry Angaran remembers Bob's clarinet talent. "Bob played a Benny Goodman record for me one day, then turned the record off and played the same song with his clarinet; If I'd closed my eyes, it could have been Benny Goodman playing."
Bob made immediate impact his sophomore year and led CHS to three straight outstanding baseball seasons. "He had a wicked sinker that looked like the bottom fell out of it," recalls Ron Clark, former Centerville teacher who played baseball with Bob. "Some days he was unhittable."
Bob was also among the best pool players in the county. As they say, he could "shoot the spots off balls."
After graduating from CCC, Bob played clarinet in the famous 5th Army Marching Band, stationed in Germany and traveling all over with the Army band. He moved back to his native Chicago after his military service and met his future wife, Kathleen Corcoran. The two married in 1968 and three years later welcomed daughter Shelly into the world. The following year, they had twin daughters, Wendy and Roberta although Roberta-born with health issues-survived only three months.
Most of Bob and Kathleen's married life was spent in Rockford, where Bob was a successful entrepreneur who for years owned and operated a debt recovery business.
After daughter Wendy and her husband tragically died young, Bob and Kathleen raised Wendy's children through high school. Both Bob and Kathleen enjoyed bowling and square-dancing and were active in their church, especially youth group music. They were married just shy of 50 years when Kathleen passed away in October, 2017.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents; sister Patricia (Lewis); brother Ron, and an older half-brother, Bob; also daughters Wendy (Gonzales) and Roberta Lynn. He is survived by his sister, Deb Foster Wright, of Gilbert, AZ, and daughter Shelly Foster Bardsley of Rockford--along with seven grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
His family and close friends will hold a private memorial service to celebrate his life.
Those who knew him well, wherever he took his wit and outgoing personality throughout his life, fondly remember Bob Foster, who left his friends and family with a treasure of memories.
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Published on July 18, 2019
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12 posts

Robert H.Jones Jr.
Jul 25, 2019
Bob was so gifted. Bob, Jerry Angaran and I played pea-pool, golf and snooker on the snooker table at the East side pool hall for hours on end
all through CHS and CCC. Wow what fond memories! Bob and I listened to that Benny Goodman 78 LP and Sing,Sing, Sing was one of our favorites. I was fortunate enough to have played in the CHS band and on the CHS and CCC baseball teams with Bob.
Robert was a special human being!
RIP Buddy
Janet Foster
Jul 24, 2019
My brother in law Bob was always smiling
He and my husband Ron always called each other ",,fish" we had a lot of good times playing cards, going out to Gages Lake, ball games
I miss him but know he is with his brother Ron calling each other "fish".
Aprile Raske
Jul 24, 2019
Wow. Bob Foster, great man!!! I’ve known the Foster family most of my life. I’ve grown up with his girls and his nieces and nephews. I’ve got a lot of good memories of him directing the choir in church... all of us going to the Fosters after church to hang out. It’s comforting to KNOW he’s not in pain anymore and he’s with his Heavenly Father and been reunited with his loves. Love you Shelley ... you can do this
Sharon M Allen
Jul 23, 2019
I did not know Bob personally. I knew his wife, Kathy through an internet group for Christians. Over the years I came to love the entire Foster family and I celebrated their happy moments and cried tears when they went through adversity. I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Bob. I am praying for your family. May God bless you all. ~ Sherrie Allen, West Columbia, South Carolina
Dan Gleaso.
Jul 22, 2019
Erica Gonzalez, I am glad you shared that story. That's the kind of guy Bob was, the kind of guy I knew when we were teenagers and young adults. If you have his DNA, you are in great shape to be a special human being
Erica Gonzales
Jul 21, 2019
My grandpa was one of the best men I knew, he (along with my grandma) stepped up to take care of my and my 2 brothers. Boy, is he missed. I will continue to love you and miss you!! His presence will always be with me
Jerry Angaran
Jul 21, 2019
What a great guy. He was so talented in everything he did, but was such a humble person. Everyone that I knew thought the world of him. I look back on our many games of pool we played with fondness. We were both very competitive, but thoroughly enjoyed our competition. I wish I could have seen him in later life to see how much more I'm sure he had grown.
Richard Shepard
Jul 21, 2019
Bob was a nice man with plenty of wit was a blast to no around. You also wish you would have stayed in touch with a man like Bob! Rip
JERRY POWER
Jul 21, 2019
I was a year behind Bob, and knew him pretty well. Here was a guy who was big in stature and even bigger in talent. I believe if he had gotten a couple of breaks he could have pitched Triple A or even better. And musical talent - wow! I heard him play "Stranger on the Shore" by Acker Bilk, you really couldn't tell the difference. But what he was really about was his respect for other people. Just a tremendous human being! One story I'll never forget was he and Ed Dooley were always bantering about each others weight! (They both were great athletes!) Dooley called him fatso and Bob said without missing a beat Shuddup Blimp!!! The place erupted with laughter!!! RIP Robert G "Bob" "Ollie" F...oster! You made you mark with me!!!!Read more
Colleen Ryan Lathrop
Jul 19, 2019
I played clarinet beside Bob in the CHS band. He was a great guy and had a great personality.
SueAnn Butler Carpenter
Jul 18, 2019
He was always a gentleman. He was witty and loved music. He was a talented musician. He will be missed.--Class of '64, fellow band member (flute)
Dan Gleason
Jul 18, 2019
I remember how witty and fun Bob was, and how multi-talented he was. Many athletic and musical gifts. But most of all, he was a good guy and as likeable as anyone I can remember.