Long-time Eustace resident and rancher Ferrell Eugene “Gene” Foster, Sr., 93, passed away Nov. 8, 2019 at Oak Wood Place Senior Living in Athens. He passed peacefully in the night.
A memorial service was held Nov. 11, 2019 at First Baptist Church in Mabank with Interment followed at Cottonwood Cemetery. Arrangements were under Eubank Cedar Creek Funeral Home in Mabank.
Foster was born Oct. 26, 1926, in Crisp, to William Everett and Fairy Gertrude Morton Foster. He was the third of four sons.
He grew up in the Cottonwood community northeast of Eustace and attended high school in Eustace, where he played various sports. After graduation in 1944, Foster worked in Dallas briefly then served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific theater at the end of World War II.
Foster returned to Texas after his discharge in 1946 and married Hilda Noble of Payne Springs Jan. 10, 1947, in Dallas. The couple and their daughter, Dianne, lived in Dallas for a time before moving to Eustace, where Gene operated the local Humble service station before returning to Dallas in the early 1950s and the birth of their son, Ferrell, Jr.
The Fosters were active in several Baptist churches during Gene’s lifetime. Pleasant Wood Baptist Church in Dallas ordained him as deacon and he served three churches in that capacity through the decades, culminating with service at First Baptist Church of Mabank.
Gene retired from Collins Radio/Rockwell in Richardson in the mid-1980s. He and Hilda had already moved back to Eustace in 1976, and after retirement he became the full-time rancher he had always dreamed of being.
Gene and Hilda lived southwest of Eustace on land next to their daughter for four decades before health issues required them to move to assisted living in Athens. During those years of ranching, Gene ran cattle on family land in Cottonwood and Payne Springs, as well his home place.
Foster is survived by his wife of 72 years Hilda Foster, now of Athens, daughter Dianne and her husband Rick of Eustace. son Ferrell, and his wife Trese, of Georgetown, grandchildren Jennifer Morris and her husband Rusty of Forney, John Sypert and his wife Suzy of Dallas, Justin Shaffer of Eustace, Josh Sypert and his wife Stephanie of Eustace, Matt Shaffer of San Antonio, Tiffany Himes and her husband Darren, of Crossroads, Tabitha Foster of Georgetown, Landon Foster of Kilgore, Meredith Lewis and her husband Stephen of Burleson and Cameron Foster of Georgetown, and 12 great-grandchildren and another on the way.
He was preceded in death by his parents Everett and Gertrude Foster of Cottonwood, brothers Lloyd, Charles and Billy and one grandson Tyler Foster of New Orleans.
A personal tribute may be made online at www.eubankcedarcreek.com.