Henry Lee Foster Jr. was many things, a father, a cousin, and an uncle to some. He was born on the first day of 1926, near Abilene, Texas to Lee Foster and Lela Mae Richardson where he would grow up during the the Great Depression in severe poverty.

“H.L.” as he is known by his Texan relatives and his nieces was a man of great conviction. He did not let his circumstances define him. He worked hard and smart and scored the highest ever score for the United States radioman test. He served this country during World War II in the Navy on the Pacific theater as a radioman aboard LSTs. He saw combat throughout the Pacific notably at the Battle of Okinawa at the age of 18. After the Navy, he continued his dedication to his country working for the Naval Ordinance lab helping invent the technology that makes modern car alternators operate. He said that the U.S. military would track him down every 10 years to sign the patent and he did so as it was his duty.

He became a commissioned officer in the 1950s of the U.S. Army Signal Corps Reserve while attending Texas A&M University, where he got his bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering. All of this while raising a family.

His wife he met in the late 1940s, Julie Beland, whom he shared almost 70 years with. He had four beautiful children from this union. He worked in the field of electrical engineering management and retired in Sacramento for the last few decades of his life. Not bad for a person who in his youth was living in a cave at one point.

He encouraged his children and grandchildren to get a good career, to pursue a college education, to foster relationships with family, both close and extended, and to be fiscally responsible. He encouraged this not just through words but through his actions.

He showed his family how to be a good story teller which not only involves telling stories but living a life worthy of story telling.

Mr. Foster passed away Sunday morning, March 21, 2021, peacefully and without pain. His family was with him at the end, both in person and through spirit, heart, and WhatsApp video chats.

Henry Lee Foster Jr. is now with his deceased wife, Julie Beland, his daughters Pat Henry and Tamar Foster, his sister Zelma Mae Foster, his parents, Lee Foster and Lela Mae Richardson, his grandparents Charles Henry Foster, Sallie Adeline Petty, TC Richardson, and Virgie Richardson, his best friend and uncle, TC Richardson, as well as many friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, and the countless other’s he’s impacted.

He is survived by his children, DK Foster of Yachats, Ore., and Randy Foster of New Bern, N.C., his grandchildren, Josh Henry and Chelsea Joyce of Seattle, Wash., Blake Foster of Wilmington, N.C., Cole Foster of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Mark Foster of New Bern, N.C., his great grandchildren, Farren Henry, Onslow Henry and Andorra Henry of Washington State, and Mavis Joyce of Seattle. He is survived by Jock Doss and Tom Evans, by Sarah Foster and Dave Joyce. He is survived by his nieces, Kathy, Cindy, and Vicky. He is survived by his cousins, Erma Lee, Norma Jane, Janet, Rita, Linda, Claudia, and Mary Charlene.

He is survived by countless others who will miss him and who he impacted in many profound ways.


  1. My sincere condolences to you and your family. It sounds as though his presence made the world a better place.

  2. We are so sorry for your loss. What an excellent man. We appreciate his sons’ hard work on behalf of all of us. I bet you made him very proud.

  3. Thank you for sharing this wonderful human with all of us. So very sorry for you and your family’s loss.

  4. Condolences to you and your family. he sounds like a wonderful man with a life well and fully lived.

  5. My deepest condolences to you, your family and everyone close to your father in any way there is and was.

  6. An example of what you can be in America with effort. Wonderful story.

  7. He sounds like a wise and well-loved man. There is a special place in history for those who had NOTHING and through perseverance and belief in a better future provided inspiration for generations. He left an enduring legacy.

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