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Matthew John Foster

Matthew John Foster

Passed on: November 3rd, 2013

Born Broughshane, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, September 16, 1925.
After a long, stoic battle with cancer, endured with incredible fortitude, Matt passed peacefully away at home on Nov. 3, 2013, in the presence of his family and devoted caregivers.
Predeceased by parents, Mary Anna (McAdams) & Montgomery Foster. Also predeceased on Dec. 3, 2012, by his cherished wife of 59 years, Maud. Survived by his sister Mary Boddie (Foster) and brother-in-law Dr. Charles Boddie and family.
Sadly missed by son, Robert Foster, spouse Rhonda Kennedy and step-daughters Jennifer Kennedy- Fleming, Tara Kennedy-Sharpe and step-son Paul Sharpe. Treasured and much-loved Dad of Heather Foster and partner John O’Grady.
Loving, very proud Grandfather of Leigh Foster and Amanda Cyr. He will be in their hearts forever.
Second “Father Foster” to Paula Foster and husband Rick Fisher. Matt is mourned and missed by sisters-in-law Margaret Lorimer (N. Ireland), Vi Kennedy (Scotland), Barbara Creswell (England), and Kathleen Kennedy (N. Ireland), and all of their extended families in the United Kingdom. Especially missed by nephew, Brian Weatherup (June) and all the Weatherup clan (Scotland), as well as nephew James Kennedy (New York), and niece Brenda Macauley (N. Ireland).
“Uncle Matt” will be fondly remembered by Charles and Tammy Boddie.
Matt had a long and distinguished professional teaching and coaching career.
He started his teaching career as Principal of a one room schoolhouse at Kilcronaghan Primary School, in County Londonderry, N. Ireland, from 1947 to 1953. In August 1953, he immigrated to Canada with his young bride, Maud, and they both started teaching careers at Bishop Feild and Bishop Spencer Schools. He developed sports and games programs there and went on for further training at Carnegie College in Leeds in 1958. On return to Newfoundland, Matt went on to teach at Bishop’s College from 1959 to 1961. He also did further Physical Education training and obtained a Master’s in Physical Education from Springfield College, Mass. in 1962. He joined the Dept. Of Physical Education & Athletics at Memorial University in 1961, and became Professor and Director of this School in 1964 until his retirement in 1986.
Matt made a very important and significant contribution to sport in Newfoundland & Labrador over a 33 year period from 1953 to 1986. He served as a teacher, coach, clinician, professor and administrator in professional and volunteer sectors at school, club, university, provincial and national levels. His particular areas of expertise were soccer, track & field and administration. He was known as a great innovator and motivator in his method of coaching soccer, which was his great love. Even until his last days, he enjoyed watching Manchester United games with his close friend, Dr. John Hewson.
Matt was the recipient of many awards and honours. He was awarded an Honorary Life Membership with the Feildian Athletic Association (1980); inducted as a “Builder” in the St. John’s Molson Canadian Soccer League (1990); and became an Inductee of the Newfoundland & Labrador Sports Hall of Fame in 2007, for his great contribution as a “Builder” of soccer in the province. Matt served on a number of Provincial and National Advisory Committees on Fitness and Amateur sports. He also served in the Royal Canadian Air Force Reserve as a Flight Lieutenant.
“Mr. Foster” taught and influenced the careers of many students, and was well respected and remembered by all. A tough task-master, he was actually always a “softie” on the inside to those who knew him well. Matt will also be remembered fondly by many friends and colleagues. Matt was a great lover of nature, the outdoors and wildlife. He delighted in the hunting season every fall, and loved trekking for umpteen miles in the Avalon Wilderness, with his faithful dogs, Grouse, Snipe and Teal.
The family wish to express their deepest, heartfelt thanks to all of “Mister’s” incredible, devoted & loving caregivers – Rhonda (#1) Callahan, Claudia Lee, Regan Keats, Rhonda Mackey, Wudnesh Bogale, Donna Woodford, Anne Andrews, Doreen Durdle, & Joan Coleman. Special thanks as well to Lisa Lieb. Our sincere thanks, once again, to Dr. Gregory Rideout, for his excellent medical care and in-home family support. His dedication allowed for Dad’s wish of a peaceful passing at home.
Thank-you also, to Dr. Gavin Duffy and the Staff of 5 South B, HSC.
As per Matt’s wishes, immediate cremation has taken place. There will be visitation at Carnell’s Funeral Home ( Freshwater Rd.) on Sunday, Nov. 10 from 6 - 9 pm, and on Monday, Nov. 11 at 10 am – noon.
A Memorial Celebration of Life Service will be held at the Carnell Memorial Chapel on Monday, Nov. 11 at 12 o’clock, followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, Matthew’s request was to please make a donation to the SPCA, the Janeway Children’s Hospital, or a charity of your choice. To send a message of condolence or to sign the memorial guest book, please visit www.carnells.com


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