Clara Louise Biggs Foster, 84, died with her family at her bedside on September 10, 2017, at her home on a farm near Marietta. She was the widow of Albert L. Foster, a third generation resident of Love County. Clara was born July 31, 1933, on a farm near Goddard, Kan., to Johanna Wolken and Jacob Louis Biggs.
She is survived by four children: Michael Jacob Foster and his wife, Barbara Measelle of Fort Worth, Texas; Thomas Albert Foster and his wife, Amy of Marietta; Jody Marie Foster and her husband, Bruce Cain of Stanford, Calif.; and Sandra Foster of Austin, Texas. Clara is also survived by four grandsons, David Steven Foster of San Diego, Calif.; Eric Thomas Foster and his wife, Jamie of Frisco, Texas; Carl Alan Foster of Prague, Czech Republic; and Tobin Robert Bell of Stanford, Calif.; as well as two great-grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Ethan Foster. Surviving family from Wichita, Kan. includes nephews Jake, Donald, Bob and Tom Biggs; and nieces Jeanette Biggs and Delores Weber.
Clara was preceded in death by her beloved husband Albert on March 20, 2016; and by her son, Matthew John Foster of Edmond, Okla., on April 26, 2017. She was also preceded in death by her brothers, Edward Bernard and Hilary Louis Biggs; and by her nephew Louis Biggs. Clara was an adventurous and high spirited person. She was happy when her family moved to Wichita when she was a teenager because she always claimed she was a city girl at heart. Clara joined the United States Air Force after graduating from North High in 1951.
While in training at the Francis E. Warren Air Force Communications School in Cheyenne, Wyo., she met her life partner Albert. After a whirlwind courtship, Clara and Albert were married in Wichita, Kan., at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on March 16, 1953. Clara soon left the Air Force and began an adventure of rearing five “military brats” with Albert, living in such places as Austin, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Las Vegas, and Tokyo. During this time she joined the Civil Service where she rose from an entry position as a secretary to become an executive Military Procurement Specialist and also completed her BA through night courses.
When Albert retired, he followed Clara in moves across the country to California and West Virginia so she could pursue her career in the Civil Service. When Clara retired from the Civil Service, they built a new home to live in back on the Love County farm Albert had grown up on. But for many years they also traveled extensively around the United States and Canada, often with fellow RV enthusiasts such as the “Happy Wanderers,” an apt name for Clara and Albert themselves. Clara also took trips to Europe with her daughter Jody and her family, and enjoyed seeing Paris, London, Venice and Rome. When not traveling Clara enjoyed many hobbies. She was an enthusiastic shopper and an avid collector of ceramic angels, dishes, and dolls. She was an oil painter and a deft seamstress, making many clever Halloween costumes and colorful quilts for her grandchildren.
Together, Clara and Albert enjoyed dominoes with good friends and hosting large gatherings of family and friends at their farm to celebrate holidays and important family events. Clara was always a snappy dresser who loved jewelry and bright colors and patterns. She was particularly famous for her stylish hats.
Both Albert and Clara were proud of their military service, and of the fact that their service pictures are on display together in the Love County Military Museum.
In recent years, as Clara’s health declined significantly, Albert devoted himself solely to her care. His dream was to care for her at home until she passed, but fate cruelly took him first. The family continued Albert’s mission of caring for Clara in her home, and were happy to have much more time with her than expected, enjoying Scrabble and favorite television shows together.
Serving as pallbearers at Clara’s burial will be her son, Thomas Foster and his wife, Amy, her daughter Jody, and her grandsons, David and Eric Foster and Tobin Bell. Honorary pallbearers will be Mike Foster, Sandra Foster, Barbara Measelle, Bruce Cain, Carl Foster, and Jamie Foster. A time of visitation for family and friends will be held Thursday, September 14, at 7 p.m., starting with a rosary, at the Flanagan-Watts Funeral Home. The service will be held at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Marietta at 2 p.m. on, Friday, September 15, followed by interment at Lakeview Cemetery, Marietta. Arrangements are under the direction of Flanagan-Watts Funeral Home, Marietta. Online guest book: wattsfuneralhome.com.