A former Dean of Minot State College, Dr. Randolph Nelson Foster Jr., was born April 6, 1921, in Ennis, Texas, the first child of Katy (Sims) and Randolph Nelson Foster Sr. He passed away at the age of 91 on July 27, 2012, at the Wesleyan at Scenic Nursing Home in Georgetown, Texas.
Visitation was held Sunday, July 29, 2012, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Gabriels Funeral Chapel, 393 North IH 35, Georgetown, Texas. A graveside service will be held at noon on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at Hamilton-Beeman Cemetery on FM 2555, just outside of Corsicana, Texas, with Rev. John Aleman officiating. Masonic rites will be conducted by Masonic Lodge #174, AF & AM, and the U.S. Army Honor Guard will perform military honors.
Randolph graduated from Ennis High School in 1939 and the University of Texas in Austin in 1942, where he later earned his master's degree in music. Later in life Randolph went on to achieve his EdD (Doctorate of Education) at George Peabody State Teachers College in Nashville, Tenn.
He entered the Army on July 23, 1942. While stationed in San Antonio, Texas, and traveling by bus between San Antonio and Ennis, he met Melba Cowden of Corsicana, Texas, who was working as a nurse in San Antonio. They were married on Dec. 18, 1943, and shared more than 63 years together. He was also stationed in San Francisco, where he was a member of the Army Band.
During his career he first taught at Pharr High School, Pharr, Texas; and later at Tarleton State College, Stephenville, Texas; Pittsburg State College in Pittsburg, Kan., Wesleyan College, Macon, Ga.; and Vanderbilt Peabody State College, Nashville, Tenn. Dr. Foster moved his family to Chadron, Neb., where he taught music, humanities and directed the college band and orchestra at Chadron State Teachers College. Dr. Foster's career took him to Minot, as Dean of the college from 1963 through 1968 and later to Youngstown, Ohio, as Director of Institutional Research at Youngstown State University; he retired from that university in 1983. Randolph and Melba moved to Georgetown, Texas, to be near family and the area in which they both grew up.
Randolph continued his interests in music, statistics, world history, and sports, especially University of Texas Football. He was a lifetime member of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas, San Gabriel Lodge No. 39. Randolph and his family were longtime Methodists. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the College Band Directors National Association, the Tennessee Music Educators Association, and the American Association of University Professors, as well as others.
He was preceded in death by his wife of more than 63 years, Anna Melba Cowden Foster, in 2007; his parents; his sister, Katherine Holt Weiben McDonald, formerly of San Antonio; and his brother Melvin J. Foster, formerly of Round Rock, Texas.
Dr. Foster leaves behind to cherish his memory: his son, R. Nelson Foster, III and wife, Jo Ann, of Mesa, Ariz.; daughter, Anna Carol Kennedy and husband, Mike, of Casper, Wyo.; grandsons, Brandon and wife, Stefani, Tyson and wife, Jessica; great-grandchildren, Adam Laumbach, Isabella Foster, Marisa Foster Courts and Skylar Foster; his sister-in-law, Frances Cowden, of Houston; cousin, Bob Goodwin, of Georgetown, Texas, and several nieces and nephews; along with a host of loving friends.
Personal words of comfort may be sent to the family online at (www.gabrielsfuneral.com).