Cover photo for Erwin J. Foster's Obituary
Erwin J. Foster Profile Photo

Erwin J. Foster

January 11, 1923 — August 15, 2012

Erwin J. Foster

FOREST CITY - Erwin Foster, 89, of Forest City died Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at the Muse Norris Hospice Inpatient Unit in Mason City.

Funeral servces will be held at 10:30 AM, Saturday, August 18, 2012 at United Methodist Church in Forest City with Pastor Jerald Swanberg officiating.

Burial will be held at Madison Township Cemetery in Forest City, with Military Rites by American Legion Post 121.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the church.


Erwin was born on January 11, 1923, in Fontanelle, Iowa. He was the first-born child of Emmert and Irene Dwyer Foster. A descendant of early Iowa settlers, Erwin was always proud of his Irish heritage. He grew up in Greenfield and graduated from Greenfield High School. Erwin was inducted into the United States Army on January 30, 1943. He served with the 135th Medical Regiment in the Philippines, New Guinea, and the Occupation Forces of Japan. He suffered an attack of dengue fever, followed by hepatitis, while in New Guinea. He also served in Australia at two different times.
On his return from military duty in 1946, he was united in marriage with Vivian E. Christ in Winterset, Iowa, where Vivian was a high school teacher. They were blessed with a daughter, Karen Rose, and a son, Dr. Larry D.
Erwin owned and operated the Gambles Hardware Store in Forest City from 1948 until 1973, when he sold his business and became the manager of Eddy's Glass Company. Erwin worked at Eddy's until his retirement.
He was a member of the Masons, Chamber of Commerce, VFW, American Legion, Forest City Barbershop Chorus, Lions Club, and Rotary. He belonged to the United Methodist Church and served in various offices.
Erwin and Vivian enjoyed traveling to Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and central Europe. They spent many happy days camping with friends in their motor home both in the U.S. and Canada. In later years, they wintered in their home in Valley View Estates, Mission, TX. Erwin enjoyed collecting and restoring antiques found at auctions. He was an avid gardener and wood worker.
He is survived by Vivian, his wife of 66 blessed years. Also surviving are his daughter, Karen (Roy) Siple of Vienna, VA, and son, Dr. Larry (Joy Rohwer) Foster of Adrian, MN, five grandsons, Bill Siple of Fort Collins, CO, and Clint, Jared, Trevor, and Logan Foster of the Twin Cities, and one granddaughter, Dr. Jessica Siple (Dr. Ryan) Tyler of Boston, MA. Also surviving are four great-grandchildren, two sisters, Veryl Schweers of Greenfield, and Helen (Bob) Beers of Panora, Iowa, and a brother, Dr. Jerry (Mary) Foster of Normal, IL. He is also survived by eight nieces, eight nephews, and many friends.
He was preceded in death by one brother, Wayne of West Des Moines. Erwin was a very honest, caring, and helpful man. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Erwin J. Foster, please visit our flower store.

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