David Foster


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.

David was a third generation farmer who farmed for more than 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, taking many scouts over the years 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, and Matt (Melissa) Foster of West Brooklyn; grandchildren, Megan (Josh Egyed) and Walker Knight of Ashton, Kerri (Brett) Helwig of Dousman, Wisconsin, Kalley Foster of Edwardsville, Kaleb (Lexus) Foster of Dixon and Suzanna and Janae Gillette of Machesney Park; his siblings, sister Barbara (Dennis) Wager of Towanda and brother, Bill (Kathy) Foster of The Villages, Florida; and sister-in-laws, Shirley Foster of Dixon and Eugenia Foster of Griffin, Georgia; mother-in-law, Lois Erickson of Ashton; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded by his parents; father-in-law, Ralph Erickson; brothers, Thomas and Donald Foster; and grandson, Ryker Gillette.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Ashton Bible Church, 702 Main St. Ashton. Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. at Ashton Bible Church. A visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until time of service. A graveside will follow at Ashton Cemetery. 

Memorials have been established to Ashton Bible Church and Serenity House. Visit www.beveragelyonsfamilyfh.com. 

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