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Dr John W Foster

September 5, 1925 — August 18, 2016

Neillsville optometrist Dr. John W. Foster passed away on August 18, 2016, at the age of 90. John was born in Black River Falls on September 5, 1925, the son of former Neillsville Mayor and WW I veteran Leo W. Foster, and of Dr. Martha A. Foster, who is one of the first female optometrists licensed to practice in Wisconsin. An only child, he was preceded in death by his parents.He graduated early from Neillsville High School in December 1943 in order to enlist into the U.S. Navy's V-5 program and participated as a Naval Aviation Cadet in flight training in Iowa City, Iowa, during the closing years of World War II.Following his brief military career, he attended college at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Following in the footsteps of his mother, he was accepted into Pacific University School of Optometry in Forest Grove, Oregon. In September 1949, he married Dolores G. Schlaeger of St Paul, Minnesota, and settled in Thorp, Wisconsin, where he began managing his mother's satellite optometry office.In 1964 he moved Dolores and family to Neillsville to assume management of his mother's entire optometric practice. John was active in a number of clubs and social settings through the years, including the Thorp Knights of Columbus, the Thorp and Neillsville Lions Club, the American Legion and VFW Post in Neillsville, and was a longtime member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Neillsville.John was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed gardening and caring for his lawn, and fishing and boating, and also spending time with his family.John is survived by his wife and five sons: John S. Foster (Karen Sandberg), Marinette, Wisconsin; Jeffrey L. Foster (Cindy Armstrong), Florence, Kentucky; Dr. Gregory A. Foster (Linda Anding), Neillsville, Wisconsin; Gary H. Foster (Melodie Zschernitz), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Mark L. Foster (Julie Sundermeyer), Lakeville, Minnesota. He is the grandfather to 11 grandchildren and a great-grandfather to seven great-grandchildren.A visitation service for Dr. John Foster will be held at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville on Sunday, August 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with a Knights of Columbus Rosary Service to follow. Visitation will also be held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., Monday at St. Mary's Catholic Church. A Memorial Mass will take place at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Neillsville on Monday, August 22 at 10:30 a.m. Following the Mass, full military honors will be rendered by the Neillsville Veteran's Council. His ashes will be interred at the Neillsville Cemetery at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to the Clark County Living & Rehabilitation Center in Owen.Online Condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com. The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting John's family with funeral arrangements.Funeral Home:Gesche Funeral Home4 South Grand AvenueNeillsville, WIUS 54456
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