Obituary: Gary Leon Foster

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Gary Leon Foster

January 29, 1943 to April 4, 2017

Gary Leon Foster, lovingly known as “Butch” peacefully passed in his Brawley home with family by his side on April 4, 2017, after a 4 ½ year fight with Esophageal Cancer.

He was a proud cattleman, a loving and generous husband, father, grandfather and friend.  He loved his family and enjoyed his friends.

He attended Brawley elementary schools and graduated from Brawley Union High School in 1961.  He was a talented athlete in track, baseball and football for the Brawley Wildcats.  He received “Outstanding Player” for varsity football in 1960 and was inducted in the Imperial Valley Football Players Hall of Fame in 2005.

He was a true Wildcat – attended the University of Arizona, graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Ag Science in 1965.  Gary was a proud member of KAPPA SIGMA Fraternity, GAMMA RHO Chapter.  The fraternity honored him with the A.L. Slonaker Hall of Fame Award in 1989-90.  It was through his fraternity where he made long and lasting friendships.  He adored his friends and fraternity brothers and had many great stories to share.

Gary married his high school sweetheart, Glenda Johnson and returned home to work in the family cattle feeding business, Foster Feed Yard where he had worked since a young boy.  He was President of Foster Feed Yard and operated cattle ranching businesses in Arizona and at The Correlitos Ranch in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

He was a member of the Brawley Elks Lodge, Los Rancheros Visadores, California Agriculture Leadership Program, Del Rio Country Club, and president of the Stockmen’s Club of Imperial valley.  He was a generous supporter of the community.

He enjoyed traveling and the outdoors, but his fondest memories were deep-sea fishing with friends in Baja, Mexico.

Gary was an avid and gifted story-teller, he seldom remained seated when relating his unique version of “Little Johnnie” jokes, his rendition of Shakespeare or the pranks he played on his brother, Rod; instead he would walk around the room mimicking and exaggerating the facial expressions of those involved in the stories.  He always left his audience roaring with laughter.

At the feed yard, he could be found among the cattle just as easily as he could be found in the office.  Having been raised around cattle he personally sorted many tens of thousands of head, keeping four or five cowboys busy bringing up cattle and penning multiple cuts.  He would often relax by washing water troughs and was known to reflect how in many ways, , his employees had more opportunity to enjoy working than he did.  That is doubtful to those that knew him: he loved what he did more than most!

His mother, Blanche Baskins Foster and father, Howard A Foster preceded him in death.  He is survived by wife, Glenda of Brawley, children Brian Foster of las Cruces, New Mexico, Stacy Koegel, (Jim) of Las Vegas, Nevada, Joanne Castro, (Manuel) of Brawley and five grandchildren – Maxximus, Gigi and Bridgette Castro, Cooper and Christian Koegel.  Sister, Charlotte Ann Kovach of Yorba Linda, CA, brother, Rodney Wayne Foster of Brawley and numerous nieces and nephews.

Gary was laid to rest in a private family ceremony at Riverview Cemetery in Brawley on Saturday, April 8.  Father Ed Horning from Sacred Heart Catholic Church officiated.

A celebration of life will be held at The Stockmen’s Club of Imperial Valley at 4 pm. On Tuesday, May 23.