Cover photo for William Foster's Obituary
William Foster Profile Photo
1931 William 2016

William Foster

August 13, 1931 — July 12, 2016

US Navy Veteran, Korean War, Retired Oak Ridge Teacher

William Ray Foster, 84, died Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at Ben Atchley State Veteran's Home in Knoxville after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Ray was born in Cisco, Georgia and raised in Tellico Plains, Tennessee where he enjoyed the outdoors with his brother, Wayne. He graduated from Tellico Plains High School, where he played basketball.
After graduating, he proudly served as a United States Navy Corpsman during the Korean War. He was stationed at Bethesda Naval Hospital, where he met his future wife, Yvonne, who was a lieutenant in the Navy Nurse Corps. During his service as a Corpsman on the USS Tanner cargo ship, he traveled to Thule Air Base in Greenland and Puerto Rico. He was later stationed at Cheatham Annex in Virginia (ammunition depot). Ray and Yvonne were married on October 13, 1952 and shared the next 63 years together.
After serving in the military, he graduated from the University of Tennessee - Knoxville with a bachelor's degree in education. Ray taught 7th grade social studies in the Oak Ridge City School System for 30 years. Other interests included being an Oak Ridge Boys Club basketball coach, celebrating his Cherokee heritage as a former member of East Tennessee Indian League, visiting friends, helping neighbors, enjoying the outdoors, and supporting Oak Ridge Wildcats and UT Vols sports teams. Ray embraced his roles as a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather by sharing his hobbies and love of the outdoors with each generation.
He was preceded in death by his parents Leonard and Della (Brackett) Foster, his brother Wayne Foster, and his recently deceased 13 year old dog and best friend, Justy. Ray is survived by his wife of 63 years, Yvonne (Parszik) Foster; his daughters, Gail Fillers (husband Fred), Tina Liles (husband David); his nephew Stephen Foster (wife Gretchen); three grandchildren, Virginia Kirby (husband Matt), Marie Case (husband Danny) and Kevin Fillers (wife Katie); and two great grandchildren, Will Case and Charlotte Kirby.
The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to the Knoxville VA Clinic's medical staff and notably Dr. Jafer; the medical staff and caregivers at Ben Atchley State Veteran's Home in Knoxville and Life Care Center of Morgan County. The family would also like to thank everyone for their prayers, support, and care throughout this difficult time.
The family will receive friends 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at Martin Oak Ridge Funeral Home (1017 Oak Ridge Turnpike; Oak Ridge). A Funeral Mass will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 14, 2016 at St. Mary's Catholic Church (327 Vermont Ave.; Oak Ridge) with FR. Pontian Kiyimba and FR. Bede Aboh officiating. The interment will be at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Secret City Animal Rescue (SCAR); 969 Oak Ridge Turnpike, #331; Oak Ridge, TN 37830 or HonorAir Knoxville; 7536 Taggart Lane; Knoxville, TN 37938-8996. Online messages may be left for the family at Services entrusted to Martin Oak Ridge Funeral Home 865-483-4341

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