Harold F. Foster, a longtime resident of St. Johns and a native of Lansing, died peacefully, surrounded by family, on Friday, February 24, 2023 following complications from heart surgery. He was 74 years old. Harold was born on February 15, 1949 in Chicamauga, Georgia, the third of five children born to Claud Clark and Margaret Elaine (Rhodes) Foster. The Foster family moved to Lansing when Harold was six, and Harold graduated from J.W. Sexton High School in 1967. On October 14, 1967, Harold married his high school sweetheart, Sherry Smyth. Harold was Sherry's rock, confidant and fiercely loyal partner for over fifty-seven years. They settled in St. Johns in 1982 and together raised their two sons, Jeremy and Jody. He loved his family dearly and was ever proud of his two sons and their accomplishments. To his grandchildren he was "papa" and their biggest fan and advocate.
Harold was instrumental in many committees and organizations, and inspirational to many. A man of humble origins, Harold grew to become the epitome of a public servant, was a talented speaker and proactive listener. He was an advocate for facts, transparency and choices and could positively influence people. Harold never complained - he took action, would work diligently to seek a solution that was in the best interest of everyone and was an example of a positive, influential leader.
Harold began his work at General Motors in 1968, working on the line and quickly advanced to become a Benefit Representative who was highly respected and known by many as the "Union Godfather". He retired in February, 2023. He was the Board President for LAFCU for thirty seven years, nearly four decades, where he was able to make a difference in the community, help others and build relationships. Harold planned annual LAFCU outings to benefit the Greater Lansing Food Bank, and was a proponent of the Lansing State Lugnuts partnership and the LAFCU fireworks display, which thousands of people enjoy annually. He was Past President of the General Motors Credit Council and the editor and business manager of Lansing Labor News. In 1991, Harold organized and co-founded the St. Johns Youth Athletic Association (SJYAA) and coached basketball, football and golf. He earned the Douglas Griffith Award and the Walter Campbell Local Hero Award over the years.
Harold and Sherry wintered in South Wind, Florida, and Harold helped organize the annual GM Snowbirds Banquet. They loved the warm weather and walking the beach. He collected frogs, adored his red jeep, took meticulous care of this three acre lawn, enjoyed a cup of coffee (at any hour of the day) and loved to hum and sing melodies. Harold often let the sport schedule, whether it was MSU basketball, the Lions or WWE, dictate his weekend schedule. In recent years, Harold built a "general store" out-building to house his treasures from auctions and antiquing. Harold was kind, caring, and loving to all, cherished time spent with his family and lived life to the fullest, making an impact and difference in everything he touched.
Harold is survived by his beloved wife of fifty-five years, Sherry Foster; sons, Jeremy (Julie) and Jody (Jennifer); grandchildren, Taylor, Kayl & Zoe (Justin), Bailey, Kaylee, Owen, Kloe, Sophia & Caroline; great-granddaughter, Oakley Mae; his sister, Mary (Jon Briggs) Mabie, as well as extended family members and many dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Claud and Margaret (Rhodes) Foster and brothers, Bob, Denny and Freddie.
A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, March 3, 2023, 11 AM at McGeehan Funeral Home, Keck-Coleman Chapel, 1500 Waterford Pkwy, St. Johns. Pastor Andy Croel officiating. Burial Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Lansing. A luncheon will follow. Friends may visit the funeral home on Thursday, March 2, 2023 from 2-8 PM and on Friday, March 3rd from 10 AM until the time of the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Greater Lansing Food Bank.
For further information, phone McGeehan Funeral Home, Keck-Coleman Chapel at 989-224-4422.
Published by McGeehan Funeral Homes Keck-Coleman Chapel on Feb. 27, 2023.