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William 'Bill' Sherman Foster

"Keep coming back, it works when you work it."

Bill Foster, 94, of Phoenix, Ore. passed away Friday, July 15, 2016 at his home. He was surrounded by his family which included his cat, Sydney.

Bill was born November 11, 1921 in Cristobal, Panama to Colonel William Foster and Corrine Walton Foster. At a young age, his family returned to Southern California where he and his beautiful sisters grew up and attended El Monte High School. We think he may still hold the all-time track record for the Hop-Skip-and-a-Jump.

It was at El Monte High that he fell in love with Shannon McEwen, the daughter of his English teacher. In 1942, Bill and Shannon drove to Las Vegas (in her father’s car) and were married at the Hitchin’ Post. Just before Shannon’s passing, four years ago, the couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Bill had many careers in his long life: roller skating stock clerk, owner and operator of Foster Trucking Company, and young assistant to Doc Strub, founder of Santa Anita Racetrack (driving the family to nearby sites of interest), and owner of William Foster Custom Interiors.

In 1975, he made Shannon’s dream come true by purchasing 360 acres in Bandon, Oregon. There they developed the Shauna Ranch and raised sheep and Charolais cattle. An avid, lifelong golfer, Bill observed that the Ranch would make, “one hell of a golf course.” His observation proved true when later, the Shauna Ranch was transformed into Bandon Crossings Golf Course.

In 1984, Bill and Shannon yearned to be closer to their grandchildren, so they moved to the Rogue Valley. Here Bill started a new career as a real estate agent, purchasing the Century 21 office in Ashland with his son, Craig.

Of all his many accomplishments, Bill was proudest of his 50 years of sobriety. A “birthday” party was held at his home two days before his death where he recited the Serenity Prayer one last time, surrounded by other Friends of Bill W.

Dad told us that FAMILY is everything and he had a large one. Three children, Craig Foster (Bernadette) of Lake Oswego, Mary Foster (Abdiaziz Guled) of Ashland, and Suzanne Foster of Medford. He also had a favorite niece, Peggy Ronanye. He had 11 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson.

Toward the end of his life, Bill told many listeners, “I’ve had a good, long run. I’ve done everything I’ve ever wanted to do and more.” We should all be so lucky.

To honor the life of this wonderful man, we will gather at 1:00 p.m. July 30, 2016 at the Creekside Estates Clubhouse, 4601 South Pacific Highway, Phoenix. Bring a pie if you are able, and a good Bill story!

Farewell, Papa.

William 'Bill' Sherman Foster