December 19, 1933 – May 19, 2020
It is with great sadness we announce that Eric (“Mitch”) Newark Foster of Chemainus, BC, passed away on May 19, 2020, of a heart attack, after a long and brave battle following major heart surgery. He was 86. Eric is survived by his loving wife of fourteen years, Mary, her family, his 3 children, Julie (Gary), Mitchell and Colin, his sister Nancy McCaig, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2 grandchildren, Amber and Crystal, as well as many nephews, nieces and cousins.
He was preceded by his father, Newark Foster II (Whitley Bay, Northumberland, England) and his mother, Frances Foster (Bell) (Broom Park, Durham, England), and several brothers and sisters including sisters May Foster of North Shields Tyne, England and Iris Pyle (Len) of Swindon, England, House Mother, Marjorie Broadhurst, and Foster Mother, Eileen Langlois of Duncan, B.C.
Eric was born in Annfield Plain, England and lived there and in the Newcastle region until the age of 7. In 1941 he was sent to the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School, near Duncan BC on Vancouver Island. The Farm School was implemented to assist underprivileged children that were part of the British Empire. He graduated from Cowichan Senior Secondary School in 1952 and from the University of British Columbia in 1957 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Teaching Certificate. Eric taught elementary school, high school and vocational school on Mayne Island and in Cloverdale, Doe River and as far north as Whitehorse and Beaver Creek, Yukon. He was well regarded as an educator and was creative and extremely resourceful.
In 1975, Eric, along with his wife Ann and their 3 children, resettled in Courtenay, BC, to begin a new venture as a self- employed cucumber and tomato farmer. He tackled the challenges that came his way with hard work and determination while enjoying the freedom of being “his own boss”. However, after over 10 years in agriculture, he decided to switch gears completely and at the age of 55 he was employed as a Power Engineer for the Biological Research Station in Nanaimo, BC, before retiring at 65.
Eric was a published writer and poet, a commissioned painter, and an accomplished singer and musician. He continued to do many of those things into his 80’s. He enjoyed trout fishing, camping, horseshoes, golf and hockey. He loved classical and country music especially Eddy Arnold and Jim Reeves. One of his favourite dinner meals was spareribs with a huge bowl of ice cream for dessert. As long as he had all the proper eating utensils in place for each and every dish he was good to go! He still used the old school shaving brush and manual razor and thought that foam in a can was messy and overkill.
Eric Foster was a good man who made the most of his opportunities to live the best life he could. He took on life with intelligence, talent, creativity and a natural curiosity. He will be greatly missed by his friends and family. Special thanks to the health care professionals, the Cowichan District Hospital and especially Dr. Brian Calvin of Nanaimo, BC and Dr Michael Jansz of Duncan, BC. A small, private service will be held on Saturday, June 20 at 2pm, at Sands Funeral Chapel, 187 Trunk Road, Duncan, B.C. A live stream and recording of the service will be provided. For those who wish to view the live streaming of the Service, please visit distantlink.com/dlm59.html; password: ARBOR20. Donations can be made to the S.P.C.A. and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
A Celebration of Life will be announced on a later date. Flowers can be sent to the Funeral Chapel listed above.
Condolences may be offered online at www.sandsduncan.ca
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