On June 7, 2020; Lester Anderson Foster, Jr.; beloved husband of Patricia W. Foster (nee White); devoted father of Leslie A. Foster, Caroline S. Owens, Lester A. Foster, III and his wife Kelly and S. Timothy Foster and his wife Danna; dear grandfather of John and Joseph Owens, L. Anderson IV, Madeleine, J. West, Susan and Samantha Foster, Joshua, Alyssa and Shannon Foster; brother of John T. Foster and Betty Ann Burgess.
Service and Interment by invitation only.
On Sunday June 7th, Lester A. Foster Jr. passed away from his family and friends. He was a family man, an engineering innovator, and, leader and servant to the many communities he supported. He was born on April 4th, 1929 in Granite Quarry, North Carolina to his parents Lester A. Foster Sr. and Annie Lee (nee Swink). Early on he was an athlete, excelling in basketball and baseball in high school and played on many state championship teams. He furthered his education with a full athletic scholarship to Elon College, playing both baseball and basketball. He majored in math and physics at Elon before transferring to NC State to complete a BS in Civil Engineering.
He joined Bethlehem Steel at the Sparrows Point, Maryland, in the Looper Class of 1952. He was assigned to the steel operations group and began many improvements to steel furnace design to increase steel production efficiency. He rose through the ranks to become Master Mechanic of the Sparrows Point Plant in 1965, placing him as head of operations for one of the largest steel mills in the world. By the 1980s, he increased steel production at Sparrows Point to the largest mill in production. He worked as Master Mechanic of Bethlehem Steel for 18 years until he took the challenge to install the continuous caster from the Voest-Alpine company. Through his innovations and patents, he increased production capacity by 30% over the original Voest design. In 1992, Lester Foster retired from Bethlehem Steel to start a steel manufacturing consulting company: L&M Consultants and Steel Plants Inc. He used his steelmaking knowledge to upgrade or install and initiate steel mills across the world over many continents.
In his personal life, he married Patricia White of Greensboro, North Carolina in 1955. Together, they started a family of children, Leslie, Caroline, Lester III and S. Timothy Foster. Eventually, they moved to Dundalk, Maryland in the late 1960s.
Lester Foster was very active in the community and participated in many different organizations roles that are too numerous to account. Throughout his life in Maryland, he attended St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church now in Edgemere, MD. He provided stewardship and participated in many roles of leadership for his church and congregation. He was a PTA member and President. He worked with Boy Scouts of America as a volunteer executive earning both the BSA Award of Merit and Silver Beaver. He was proud to be a Mason and served the fraternity as a Past Master of the Benjamin B. French Lodge #15 in Washington, D.C.. Besides his many leadership roles in the York Rite he was Elder Statesman and the Senior Past Grand Commander of Knights Templar of the District of Columbia. He was active member with the Sons of the American Revolution, becoming Chapter and State Presidents, as well as VP of the Mid-Atlantic Region. He was also a member of the Sons of the War of 1812 which lead him to become the Director Emeritus of the Flag House and Star-Spangled Banner Museum.
From 1994 to 2011, he was a member of the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF), a volunteer unit to support the Maryland National Guard. He began his tenure as a captain and ended as full colonel. He was awarded the State of Maryland Distinguished Service Cross which is rarely given to ranks below flag officers.
Lester A. Foster Jr. is survived by his loving wife of nearly 65 years, Patricia, his family with four children and ten grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother John Foster and sister Betty Anne Burgess. His local memorial service will be held by Ruck Towson Funeral Home on Saturday June 13th. He will be interred in Rowan Memorial Park in Salisbury, North Carolina. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his name to be sent to St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 7801 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21219. Or, donations can be sent to his daughter Leslie’s ministry with Wycliff Bible Translators Inc. Please make checks payable to Wycliffe Bible Translators and include a separate note, “Preference for the Wycliffe ministry of Leslie Foster.” Mail to: Wycliffe Bible Translators, P. O. 628200, Orlando, FL 32862-8200 USA. The online option is at https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/1B6DA9.
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St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
7801 North Point Rd., Baltimore MD 21219
Wycliff Bible Translators
P.O. Box 628200, Orlando FL 32862-8200