Foster devoted to town, state
MONT VERNON – Linda Foster is being remembered for her devotion to her community and to her family. The retired state representative died Feb. 26 in the Mont Vernon house she shared with her husband, Bernard, for 46 years.
Foster, a Democrat, was first elected to the House in 1992, serving until 2002, when she was defeated in a Republican rout. She was re-elected in 2004 and retired in 2010 as deputy speaker. The town of Mont Vernon received much of her attention after she began volunteering as a ballot clerk and then went on to the Planning Board, where she served for 27 years, often as chairwoman.
Elliot Lyon, who was on the board with her in the 1980s, called her "always firm, but very fair." "She was devoted to her family and her community, and always faithfully supported all things Mont Vernon, including Lamson Farm Day," he said. "She really did a good job of mentoring the philosophy of being for a cause greater than self."
Whenever there was a town event, Foster could be counted on to be there, especially Lamson Farm Day and the Spring Gala. There is a plaque on an apple tree at Lamson Farm, the town’s "living museum" of its farm heritage, honoring Foster for her work.
"Linda and I were obviously on different sides on many statewide issues," former Republican state Sen. Peter Bragdon said, "though on the same side on many local issues that affected our communities. When we disagreed, it was always a cordial and respectful conversation, regardless of which one of us won that day."
In an emailed statement, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said, "Linda was admired and respected by legislators on both sides of the aisle, and will long be remembered for the kindness and respect she showed others.
"Having worked with her in the state Legislature and as governor, I always admired her leadership and appreciated her friendship."
Foster was 73 when she died. She graduated from the University of Maine in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in education. She taught special education in Nashua and then worked at Milford Area Senior High School.
She also served on the Lamson Farm Commission, Mont Vernon Historic District Commission and town budget committees.
Foster was on the executive board of Southern New Hampshire Services and an advisory board member of the New Hampshire Association of Residential Care Homes.
She leaves three sons and six grandchildren.
There will be calling hours at the Smith & Heald Funeral Home in Milford from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 10, and a memorial service at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 12, in the Mont Vernon Congregational Church.
Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 6733100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.