Roland Swaim Foster, born July 15, 1930 in Jacksonville, Florida, youngest of 3 brothers, son of Margaret Elizabeth Booth Foster and Harry Thomas Foster, died May 7, 2013 at his home in Newtown, Pennsylvania. He is survived by his wife Ann Henderson Foster. They met at the University of Florida just before Roland received his chemical engineering degree. Married 56 years they had four sons. Tim and Sam predeceased their father. Sons Ben Thomas Foster (Kim) and William Roland Foster (Jennifer) survive as does Sam’s widow Liana, also grandchildren Ian, Samantha, Austin, Audrey and Colin Foster. Roland, Ann and their sons formerly resided in Gainesville.
Loved and respected by his survivors which include two sisters-in-law, wives of Roland’s deceased brothers, Elmer and John, and many nephews and nieces, Roland triumphed over the rigors of Parkinson’s, devising methods to remain alert and mobile until the very end. Roland was a Christian, a devoted father and husband and an outstanding engineer whose generosity benefited many.
Friends and family will meet for graveside services at Evergreen Cemetery, Gainesville, Florida at 10:30am on Friday, May 17.
I am very sorry to discover Roland’s passing. He was a fine man who devotedly loved Ann and his family. Ann, the bond between you and Roland has always been inspiring. I work to develop such a special union with Michelle every day. I am a better person for knowing my fellow Gator, Roland Foster.
Greg, thank you for your remarks. I really appreciate that you took the time to write this. Roland and I always enjoyed our visits with you in Melbourne. You and Michelle are off to a good start. It’s a special gift to find a soul mate.
Ann- I am so very sorry to hear about Roland. He was a true gentleman. And you were such a wonderful team. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Ilene, how lovely to read your comments and even under these circumstances to hear from a friend of old.
Lettie and I have you in our thoughts and prayers. Roland was a man of God and a true gentleman he will be missed. The Lord just him one outstanding Chemical Engineer.
Dear Ray and Lettie,
I still miss our Suntree neighbors. Roland always enjoyed talking to you, Ray. I hope all is well with you and Lettie. I will try to come and see Peggy some time this summer and will give you an across the street “hail.” Thank you for you remembrance of Roland.
We wish to express our deepest sympathy & compassion at this time. We fondly remember our short visit with you & Roland in Melbourne, just before you moved to Pennsylvania. We appreciate his enthusiastic family tree searching, and how important family was to him. Glad you are with your children & grandchildren who will be a big support for you at this time. You are in our prayers.
Love, Dave & Darlene from Sault Ste Marie, Canada.
Thank you Dave and Darlene, Roland was not able to finish his book on his dad and mom so I will do that for him. I often think of your wonderful father Percy. What a gracious and loving heart he had.
Ann- I am very sorry to hear about Roland’s passing, but even sorrier that I let so many years go by without seeing you guys. Roland was a great influence in my life, as a boss, mentor, and role model. I can look back at my professional success and see Roland’s influence. He was a unique individual whom I will remember fondly all my life. Please give Ben and Bill my deepest sympathies. I know how close you all were and know you will receive the strength and love you deserve from your family.
God bless. Enrique
Thank you, Enrique. Roland was very fond of you. The preacher who is coming from our former church in Gainesville to do our graveside service is from Puerto Rico. I told him of Roland’s connection with that island. I still remember buying some delicious road side food one time when you were driving Roland and me around the back roads. Take care.
My heart goes out to you and your sons Ben and little Billy. I will never forget the days of our beginning adulthood in Freeport. Living on the same street, husbands at Syntex, starting the Presbyterian Church there, and you and I teaching at Freeport High School. I am so glad I got to visit you in Melbourne and you and Roland came to Bend, Oregon. I know he was a great husband and you will deeply miss him. My prayers are with you.
Thank you, Judy. I need every prayer available. Even though this was no surprise, I find myself gobsmacked. There is a song from an old musical that Roland loved that has the line “Golden days.” Those days in Freeport were often golden.
Ann — Our whole family was so saddened to hear the news. We’ve missed having you nearby in Florida and as always when there’s a loss, wish we’d taken advantage of more opportunities to see you when you were here. Evan knows about Friday’s service and hopes to attend. I so want to be there but am teaching three classes that day and Saturday morning that cannot be moved. Please know you are all in my prayers.
Thank you for remembering us. It was good to see Evan. Lisa and Judy were also there. We felt as if we were bidding the last of the engineering Gators goodbye. Some time I will get back to Brevard County. I will try to call when I do.
Dear Ann, today’s paper brought the sad news of Roland’s passing. Please, accept my sympathy. He fought so long and so bravely; his courage is an inspiration. I will remember him as a kind, soft spoken man, who had much to boast about but was always modest in everything. I pray that your family surrounds you with love. sally
Sally, thank you for thinking of us and posting this message. Even, or especially during sad times like this, it is uplfitng to hear from dear friends who know how to show they care. Ann
So sorry to hear of your husband’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of sorrow. Lots of great memories of our days at Roy Allen.
I was so sad to hear of Roland’s passing. He was an amazing man that loved you and his family very much! That was very evident when I met you both for the first time.
Roland’s generosity did benefit so many people. One person I know who benefited, was Walter Bostwick. If Walter were here today, he would tell you that personally, and he was very grateful for all you and Roland did for him.
I’ll never forget when Roland invited Walter to join in your family reunion. Those were memories that stayed with Walter for a long time. You would also invite us to your home in Melbourne for dinner. (I don’t think Walter wanted to leave :-)) He always looked forward to those trips, and Roland knew how important it was to have Walter around family who loved him.
I wish I could join you on Friday, as you celebrate Roland’s life. Please know that you and your family are in our hearts, our thoughts, and our prayers.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.
Rodney and Pam Sands (Michael too)
To give credit, whenever it is due; when Roland was my boss, I, adamantly disagreed
with many of his policies relating to our job as a whole. So much so, as to imply that we were enemies! But, that was never the case! He was always good to me, and GOOD FOR ME! I learned many invaluable “Life lessons” from Roland and other members of the Foster family. I am so pleased that he will never again suffer the pain of the loss of
another loved one.
Haven’t heard from Roland in years, but we spent many good times together hunting, fishing, water skiing and especially many fond memories at UF.
With great sympathy for your loss.
My heart goes out to your family. After 56 years, I know you will miss him dearly. May God grant you peace and strength. We look forward to the fulfillment of God’s future promises. Inthe Holy Scriptures, Isaiah 33:24 says that one day no one experience any kind of sick, and Acts 24:15 says that “there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” I hope those two verses comfort and console your heart at this sad time. My sincere sympathies.
My heart goes out to you for your great loss of your soul mate. I regret losing touch over the years, especially since your move to Pennsylvania. My prayers for your continued healing.
I remember Roland as a great teacher to the boys, always having some science experiment going in your home. He was a truly gentle, good and Godly man who will be missed by the many of us who loved him. He is in a better place now awaiting your arrival.
I just decided to look up my old boss. I am so sorry for your loss.
I know that you guys are strong. You are way up there on the positive scale.
Lost my dad a few years ago. Mom a couple of years ago.
Roland was the smartest engineer I ever knew and a pain in the rear all at the same time.
Of course that was kind of the job. He was not boring!
Offered to put me up in the house if I went back to school. (means a lot to me today).
Hope you are well.
I have typed and rethought this thing for three hours and it keeps telling me to enter comment. I’m sorry for your loss.
The first three were eloquent.
I love you