Ray Keithley Foster


Ray Keithley Foster died on June 2, 2003. He was born to Ira M. and Stella E. Foster on Dec. 4, 1916 in Littlefork, Minn.

Mr. Foster moved to Montana where he spent his adult life working in the lumber industry, and later with the Great Northern Railroad.

He enlisted in the service Dec. 21, 1942, joining the Seabees (construction battalion). His tour of duty spanned three years, two and one-half of them spent overseas in the South Pacific participating in several island invasions with the Marines.

After 37 years as a conductor, he retired to Payson, where he became active in the community. Some of his service included repairing and giving bicycles to less fortunate children, being a co-coordinator for a wood crew that cut and processed more than 100 cords of wood per year, which they donated to the community of Payson and surrounding areas, and organizing a group of volunteers to haul and deliver excess food from food banks in the Valley to families in need.

In 2001, Mr. Foster moved to San Diego to be close to family.

He is survived by his sisters, Iris Byrne of Missoula, Mont. and Jean Yarnell of Liberty Lake, Wash.; brother, Wally Foster of Whitefish, Mont.; daughters, Toni Witt of San Diego, Calif. and Teri Foster (Jim Cooper) of Billings, Mont.; former wife, Mitzi Bernard of San Diego; five grandchildren, Karen Witt of Colorado, Gretchen Donais (Jon) of San Diego, Calif., Matt Witt (Tracy) of San Diego, Calif., Don Mackenzie (Christine) of Cape Elizabeth, Maine and Scott Mackenzie of Billings, Mont.; nine great-grandchildren; two stepdaughters, Connie Beth Dunagan (John) of Whitefish, Mont. and Marcia Fauske of Spokane, Wash.; four step-granddaughters, Renee Andres (Kevin) of Belgrade, Mont., Marlies (Daniel) Toms of San Carlos, Calif., Kelly McCool of Alberta and Heather Fauske of Spokane, Wash.; eight step-great-grandchildren; several cousins; five nieces and three nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister-in-law Alma Foster, and wife Marge Foster.

No memorial services are planned.

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