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"OHE" 2003 Obituary


O'HEARE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-10-22 published
Ronald Jess FOSTER
By Fran O'HEARE Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - Page A20
Husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, golfer. Born May 4, 1919, in Fredericton, New Brunswick Died October 13, of cancer, aged 84.
Ron learned he had lung cancer in May of this year. Although it had been more than 30 years since he smoked, his oncologist told him that "lungs never forget." He was advised to play golf, drive his Lincoln, have a good time and get his affairs in order. So he did. He called his children and grandchildren and implored those who smoked, to quit and those who didn't smoke, not to start. His son Stephen and daughter-in-law Lynn quit smoking.
Ron opted for chemotherapy and despite 42 treatments over four months, maintained his humour, stamina and appetite. The more his tumour shrank, the better he felt, and so he started "the farewell golf tour." Together with his son Graham and brother-in-law Bill, Ron managed to play most of the golf courses in and around Kingston, Ontario, during his final months. Two weeks before he died, "short of air and hair," as he put it, Ron played nine holes on the Gananoque golf course and shot 50 "without cheating which is more than I can say about Jimmy," referring to his brother-in-law who had joined him for the game.
When he turned 80, Ron's children gave him a dog, a miniature schnauzer. Misty was a constant source of great companionship, love and affection. Her favourite spot was Ron's lap where she spent many hours during his final weeks.
Ron enlisted September 3, 1939, right at the start of the Second World War; he served as a sergeant in the 90th battery, 1st Anti-Tank Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery. He was wounded twice and decorated by Field Marshal Montgomery. Following the war, he moved to Kingston where he worked as foreman at DuPont.
Upon his retirement in the 1970s, Ron and his wife Barbara purchased a place in Lake Seminole Estates, Florida, where he enjoyed 27 years as a Snowbird. Ron loved Florida and was the life of the party -- and there were parties galore. He will be fondly remembered for his pancake breakfasts, Christmas dinners, and Super Bowl extravaganzas. Regardless of the occasion, Ron would always make his special baked beans, the key ingredient being rum -- and lots of it. They were delicious.
Ron was a lifetime member and past president of the Kingston Lions Club. He enjoyed the camaraderie and worked tirelessly on the club's events and committees. One of his proudest moments was being honoured as a Melvin Jones Fellow by the Lions International Foundation for "dedicated humanitarian services."
Labatt Blue was Ron's favourite beer and he often bemoaned the fact that he had never purchased shares in the company. "There's no bad beer, " he would say, "but some are better than others." The day before he died, he sipped half-a-bottle of beer through a straw.
Ron loved driving his car. His commanding use of the brakes was well known among those of us who were passengers (as well as his mechanic). In the middle of his chemotherapy, at the age of 84, he took and passed his driving test, to his immense satisfaction.
Despite the traditional division of labour in his marriage, Ron was the family shopper. Each week, he would pore over the flyers to identify the best buys on bran flakes, orange juice and toilet paper. He shopped at stores where complimentary goodies were served and noted with pride that, on those days he went grocery shopping, he wouldn't need lunch.
During his final weeks, Ron was visited by all his kids. At one visit, his son Alan advised Ron that he would bring his family to Kingston from Winnipeg for Thanksgiving and wanted Ron to be there. Ron promised he would stay around for the visit. He kept his promise. He died Thanksgiving Day.
Fran is Ron FOSTER's daughter-in-law.

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O'HEARN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-03-31 published
O'HEARN, Fred J.
He showed us courage, humour, steadfastness and good judgement in life and at his time of death. We always miss him. Audrey and family. Died March 31st, 1998.

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