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1939 John 2018

John R. Foster

December 16, 1939 — February 7, 2018

John R. Foster 78 of Lewistown passed away early Wednesday morning, February 7th, 2018 in the Central Montana Health and Rehab Center of pulmonary fibrosis.  He was born December 16, 1939 in Lewistown the son of John Howard and Eileen Agnes (Simonfy) Foster.  His parents divorced when he was four years old and he went to live with his mother and his maternal grandmother Elisabeth Simonfy.  His mother later became disabled due to rheumatoid arthritis and he was raised by his grandmother.  He attended schools in Lewistown, Garfield Elementary and Fergus High School graduating in 1958.  He worked at a meat market during his high school years.  He later attended the University of Montana in Missoula where he majored in sociology.  As he was 100 percent self-support, he spent 13 years working his way through 4 years of college.  He worked primarily as an appliance salesman to earn enough money to continue at the university.  John became a member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity at the university and he credits this fraternity with encouraging and helping him to continue attending and finishing college.

On February 14, 1969 he was united in marriage to Eloise Johnson, of Onalaska Wisconsin, in Minneapolis, MN.  To this union two children were born, Susan Louise Foster in 1971 and Russell John Foster in 1974.  They later divorced.

John was appointed by Honorable Leroy L. McKinnon, 10th Judicial District court judge, to be the juvenile probation officer serving the 10th Judicial District, composed of Fergus, Judith Basin and Petroleum counties.  He worked there for 10 years before choosing to start a private Counseling practice in Lewistown.  John was a Licensed Councilor (LCPC), License #14 in the State of Montana and was the historian for Fergus, Judith Basin and Petroleum Counties, writing numerous articles in a variety of venues including the News Argus.  For well over 30 years, John wrote Christmas articles for the News Argus Christmas Edition and he published a book on James Fergus.  John retired in 2002 but continued as the county historian and counseled a few patients.

On February 21, 1997 John was united in marriage to Susan Schwarz in Coeur d'Alene, ID.

John continued to make his home in Lewistown with Sue until the time of his death.

He is survived by his wife Sue; one son Russell J. of Corvallis, MT; one daughter Susan (Lee) Taisarsky of Denver, CO; one half brother Raymond A. Foster of Reno, NV; two grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial Services for John R Foster will be held in April, at his request cremation has taken place.  The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends are asked to make memorials to the Central Montana Historical Museum, Lewistown Genealogy section of Lewistown Library or the charity of their choice and they may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home.  Condolences for the family may be posted online at


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