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 kcleveland@cabinet.com.