Dr. Randolph Nelson Foster Jr. was born April 6, 1921, in Ennis, TX, the first child of Katy (Sims) and Randolph Nelson Foster Sr. He passed away at the age of 91 on July 27, 2012 at the Wesleyan at Scenic Nursing Home in Georgetown, Texas. Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 29, 2012 from 2:00 PM to 4:00PM at the Gabriels Funeral Chapel, 393 North IH 35, Georgetown, Texas. A graveside service will be held at 12:00PM on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at Hamilton-Beeman Cemetery on FM 2555, just outside of Corsicana, Texas, with Rev. John Aleman officiating. Masonic Rites will be conducted by Masonic Lodge #174, AF&AM, and the United States Army Honor Guard will perform military honors.
Randolph graduated from Ennis High School in 1939 and the University of Texas in Austin in 1942 where he later earned his Master’s degree in music. Later in life Randolph went on to achieve his EdD (Doctorate of Education) at George Peabody State Teachers College in Nashville, TN. He entered the Army on July 23, 1942. While stationed in San Antonio, TX and traveling by bus between San Antonio and Ennis, he met Melba Cowden of Corsicana, TX who was working as a nurse in San Antonio. They were married on December 18, 1943 and shared more than 63 years together. He was also stationed in San Francisco where he was a member of the Army Band.
During his career he first taught at Pharr High School, Pharr, TX; and later at Tarleton State College, Stephenville, TX; Pittsburg State College in Pittsburg, KS, Wesleyan College, Macon, GA; and Vanderbilt Peabody State College, Nashville, TN. Dr. Foster moved his family to Chadron, NE where he taught music, humanities and directed the college band and orchestra at Chadron State Teacher’s College. Dr. Foster’s career took him to Minot, ND as Dean of the College and later to Youngstown, Ohio, as Director of Institutional Research at Youngstown State University; he retired from the university in 1983. Randolph and Melba moved to Georgetown, TX, to be near family and the area in which they both grew up.
Randolph continued his interests in music, statistics, world history, and sports, especially UT Texas Football. He was a Lifetime Member of the Grand Lodge of Texas, San Gabriel Lodge No. 39. Randolph and his family were long time members in the Methodist Church. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the College Band Directors National Association, the Tennessee Music Educators Association, and the American Association of University Professors, as well as others.
He was preceded in death by his wife of over 63 years, Anna Melba Cowden Foster in 2007; his parents; his sister, Katherine Holt Weiben McDonald, formerly of San Antonio; and his brother Melvin J. Foster formerly of Round Rock, TX.
Dr. Foster leaves behind to cherish his memory, his son, R. Nelson Foster, III and wife Jo Ann of Mesa, AZ; daughter, Anna Carol Kennedy and husband Mike of Casper, WY; grandsons, Brandon and wife Stefani, Tyson and wife Jessica; great grandchildren, Adam Laumbach, Isabella Foster, Marisa Foster Courts and Skylar Foster; his sister-in-law, Frances Cowden of Houston; cousin, Bob Goodwin of Georgetown, and several nieces and nephews; along with a host of other loving friends.
Personal words of comfort may be sent to the family online at www.gabrielsfuneral.com.