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Baker City, Baker County, Oregon
Marvin LeRoy Foster, 87, died March 3, 2005, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise of complications from surgery.
His daughters and sister were by his side.
At his request, his body was cremated and there will be no service.
Instead the family asks that you keep him in your thoughts this way, “When I am gone, remember me with laughter for that is how I will remember you. If you can only remember me with tears, don’t remember me at all.” That’s the way he would have wanted it.
He was born the third of four children to Martin and Mary “Mae” Wilding Foster on Jan. 23, 1918, at Hunter, Utah. In 1937, he accompanied a friend to Sun Valley, Idaho, looking for work at the Sun Valley Lodge, which in those days was a favorite vacation spot for Hollywood stars.
He performed several jobs there, including work as a bell boy and as a caretaker for the children of people such as Bing Crosby and Ernest Hemingway. He took Hemingway’s boys bird hunting, bowling, skiing and ice skating and came to love them very much. He had many treasured pictures of his “kids.”
On May 26, 1940, he married Helen E. Bolek, a chambermaid he met at the lodge. They finished working out the season at Sun Valley and then moved to the Bay Area of California where he worked in the shipyards.
He joined the U.S. Navy when World War II broke out and spent many miserable months at sea where he never completely got over seasickness. But he served his country proudly and loved his homeland with all his heart. After the war, he moved his family to Boise and went to work for Idaho Power Co. on the survey crew.
Though he had to be gone from his family more than he wanted, he dearly loved the surveying job and worked at it for several years. He surveyed for the construction of the dams and the power line on the Snake River.
On July 5, 1959, they moved to Baker City when they purchased the Tower Motel, then went on to own the Green Gables Motel for many years. For a short time they also owned the Western Motel.
After selling the latter they moved to Ontario to live, but missed Baker City and the surrounding area and moved back for good. He couldn’t stay idle and went to work at McDonald’s to be around people. He worked there until he was 86.
Marvin loved being outdoors and had a strong, special love for the Snake River country. He loved to fish and shared many good times fishing with his daughters.
He had an infectious smile and a keen wit, always loving a good joke. He loved to work with wood and always had a project going.
He had a green thumb and took great pride in his flowers, especially his roses. His house was always surrounded by colorful flower beds.
He was a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Wilford; a sister, Helen; his son, Allan, in 1988; and his wife of 64 years, Helen, in 2004.
Survivors include his daughters and their husbands, Gail Foster and Bruce Stofer of Culver and Pat and Tim Pope of Baker City; his sister, Thelma Eytchison of Boise; and nieces, LeAnne and Margaret.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Salvation Army or Baker City food banks through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 11, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor