Obituary for Alma Joan Foster
Amy Foster passed away the morning of May 27, 2020 at the age of 91. Family members were with Amy as her long life ended peacefully. Amy lived in Nevada City since 1969 and was a resident of Crystal Ridge Care Facility for the last 8 months. Family members will be forever grateful to the staff at Crystal Ridge for the loving care Amy received. The doctors and nurses at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital also provided excellent care, especially difficult during the COVID crisis.
Amy was born Alma Joan Barnhill on May 7, 1929 to Ray and Iola Barnhill. The Barnhill’s had three daughters, Betty the oldest, Amy and younger sister Roberta. The Barnhill family resided in Chugwater Wyoming the early years of girl’s lives and moved to Grass Valley in the mid 1930’s. Amy attended elementary school in Grass Valley and married at the tender, yet mature age of 14. Clarence Foster and Amy were married September 27, 1943 and were married nearly 69 years till Clarence passed away in 2012.
Amy was known as Mom to most and Grandma to several grandchildren. Mom’s focus was her family, she and Dad were always busy and instilled a strong work ethic in our families. Mom liked to cook, sew and mend around the house, never hire a painter! Creamed eggs, fried chicken, mayonnaise cake and beans with corn bread were simple, but special dishes loved by many. Family gatherings and meal time were loud and energized experiences that were normal throughout our lives. Mom was talented and could be crafty, sewing new clothes or mending old and loved needle point for many years.
Mom and Dad were quite the team, Dad worked hard and Mom was thrifty. Brand named articles were rarely seen in the Foster house. Family values and determination were qualities brought from Wyoming in Mom’s case and Dad’s family originated from Oklahoma. While Dad was in Europe during World War 2 Mom worked state-side and saved as much as possible for their future. Dad worked in Nevada County gold mines after he was discharged from the Army. Gold mining was tough work and the pay wasn’t what it had been so Mom and Dad moved to Sacramento area where construction work was plentiful.
Dad eventually wound up in drywall work and within a few years he started his own business. Foster Drywall Inc. was originally based in the Carmichael area, but Clarence also worked jobs in the Nevada County area. Mom did the books and her thrifty ways were an important element of a successful business. A continued connection to the Grass Valley area led to Mom and Dad purchasing land near Nevada City in the mid 60’s. By 1969 they sold their Carmichael home and moved to the Cement Hill acreage they’d call home the rest of their lives.
Mom and Dad loved sports and attended plenty of football, baseball and basketball games that sons Ray and Mike played in at Nevada Union High School. Mom enjoyed volunteer time with students at Nevada City Elementary assisting with reading classes. For years Mom would run into young adults she’d once tutored. Mom took exercise classes in Grass Valley and also enjoyed ceramic pottery classes for several years. We’re pretty sure Mom was the original SF Giants fan, she was in her glory when the won the World Series but hung in there when they didn’t play well.
As Dad worked less he and Mom would travel to Arizona for Giants spring training and attend Giants games in San Francisco. Mom and Dad would attend Studebaker car shows during the late 90’s and early 2000’s, usually arriving in their 1955 President. Mom loved reading and visited the Nevada City Library weekly. SPD in Nevada City was a regular stop for groceries and she’d run into friends while checking out. Besides listening to Giants games on the radio Mom enjoyed TV game shows, completing cross word puzzles and couldn’t start a day without her Union newspaper.
Amy is survived by her sons Ray (Susie) Foster of Red Bluff CA, Mike (Susanne) Foster of Nevada City, 7 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild. Mom was preceded in death by daughter Leoma (Marty) Crane in 2008. A memorial will not be held immediately due to COVID, friends and family will be notified when plans are made in the future. Donations and flowers should not be sent, Mom would prefer that we share memories and get on with life!
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