Mary K. Foster
Mary died with dignity surrounded by her family in Marin County, CA. She was 87. To the end her love of people, books, birds, gardens, nature and history shaped her days and energized her friends. Mary was born and raised in Wisconsin. She received a BA from Northwestern University, where she affiliated with Kappa Alpha Theta, and was a Syllabus Queen. She moved to Los Angeles and met Robert N. Foster (Bob) of Marin, whom she married a year later. Following Bob's career, they lived in Pasadena and Georgetown until settling in Tucson, AZ. There she raised her children, served her community, taught junior high and college, and received an MA in Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona. She presided over the boards of the Tucson Festival Society, the Pima College Foundation, the Junior League of Tucson, Brewster Home, and the North-South Cultural Center. She also sat on the boards of the Tucson Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy of Arizona, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the Tucson Parks and Recreation Foundation (founding member), the Advisory Council of the Partners Board of the University of Arizona, and the Silver and Turquoise Board of Hostesses. Her honors have been: the Tucson Festival Society Tohono Award, The Nature Conservancy of Arizona's Oak Leaf Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Spirit of Philanthropy Honoree, and she was awarded Emeritus status by the Pima College Foundation Board. After 42 years of marriage, Bob died and, to be closer to her daughters, Mary moved to The Tamalpais in Marin. There she quickly became active on the library and special events committees. Mary is survived by her sisters, Ann Milliette and Kay Nachtrab; her daughters, Cornelia Foster, Mary (Mimi) Foster Murphy (Kevin) and Louisiana (Scottie) Foster Spurzem (Karl) and her grandchildren, Margaret Foster Murphy, Scott Calhoun Murphy, Paul Foster Spurzem and Robert Payne Spurzem. Mary, Mom, Nana, every time we read a good biography, pick up a sea shell, take a hike to Abbott's Lagoon, see a picture of a snowy owl, go to a costume party or share a laugh at a family dinner, we think of you. A Celebration of her life will be held at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Marin on Friday, November 15, 2013 (Livermore Pavilion) at 11:00 a.m. Mary's family would be honored by donations in her name to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (www.desertmuseum.org, 2021 N. Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ 85743), Youth in Arts (www.youthinarts.org, 917 C Street, San Rafael, CA 94901), or your charity of choice.