ANN ARBOR, MI (1940–2022)
Longtime Ann Arbor resident Bob Foster passed away on November 16, 2022, surrounded by family after a short battle with cancer. He was 82. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Terry, his sons, Mark (Melissa) and David (Katie), his grandchildren, Meghan, Jack, Nick, Joe, and Will, his sister, Joan, and many beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Marion Foster.
Bob grew up in Holt, MI and attended Holt High School where he was an accomplished athlete. He played several sports, but baseball was his passion. He was invited to try out for the Detroit Tigers after high school, but instead attended Denison University where he met and married the love of his life, Terry. At Denison he was a proud member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. After graduating from Denison in 1962, Bob went on to obtain his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1965.
Spending his career practicing law, he became managing partner of the law firm Foster, Meade, McGill, and Rumsey and toward the end of his career Bob became a managing shareholder of the Ann Arbor office of Butzel Long. While he retired in 2000, he continued as consulting counsel to Butzel Long until 2010.
Community service was a calling, as he shared the same sentiments as his father, Joe, who once stated: “I have always been a firm believer that volunteerism and philanthropy are an integral part of citizenship, and that civic involvement is the cornerstone of any prosperous, thriving community.”
He went on to serve on the board of directors of over 20 organizations, including: Washtenaw United Way, Ann Arbor Board of Education, First of America Bank, National City Bank of Michigan, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Forest Hills Cemetery, Greater Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, Ann Arbor YMCA, First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor, Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, Glacier Hills Senior Living, United Methodist Retirement Communities, and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. Even in retirement Bob stayed busy. He became president of the McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital, the Burt Lake Cottagers Association (“BLCA”), and the Indian River Golf Club.
Bob had many passions outside of his professional and civic life. One was playing handball, a sport that very few play today, and he became a State and Regional championship player. Some of his closest and lifelong friendships were made playing handball. He was a die-hard Wolverine fan and was a season ticket holder in football and basketball for many years.
His favorite place in the world was in northern Michigan at Burt Lake where he spent his summers as a child at his parents’ cottage. He and Terry built their own cottage next door in 1975. Once retired, this became their residence six months of the year. “The Invitational” was a favorite annual event he hosted with his handball buddies. They held spirited rounds of croquet golf (a game he created, complete with rule book), tennis, golf, boating, and, of course, drinking an occasional beer. Bob had a great sense of humor and enjoyed a good joke. Known for making the occasional wisecrack, he would often break up a room full of people. He especially enjoyed teasing his sister, Joan, who graduated from MSU.
A devoted family man, he loved spending time with his kids and grandkids, of whom he was immensely proud. Supporting their interests, activities and events took priority in his life. Some of his favorite family activities included hanging out on the dock together, playing two-ball catch, spirited games of Hearts (keeping score, of course), taking boat rides along the lake, and dinners at Vivio’s. He also loved taking walks in the woods with his dogs, and attending social activities of the BLCA, including the New Year’s Eve Chili Cook-Off. An avid reader of the Wall Street Journal and other periodicals, he completed crossword puzzles daily and kept current with news and politics. He was a truly great person, and he will be forever missed by his friends and family.
A memorial service celebrating Bob’s life was held at the First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor, 608 East William Street, Ann Arbor, MI, on Saturday, December 3rd. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions be made in Bob’s name to the Humane Society of Huron Valley, 3100 Cherry Hill Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105.