Doris Foster 1922-2023
Doris Foster, age 101, of Hoyt, departed from this life Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, surrounded by her family.
Doris was born March 4, 1922, in Nortonville to John and Catherine Noll Didde. As the eighth child of nine siblings and a deceased father, her mother steered the family and farm through the difficult challenges including the Dust Bowl, grasshopper invasions and the Great Depression. As a young child, Doris developed a strong work ethic, a deep faith and a commitment to family.
She graduated from Nortonville as war broke out in Europe and America mobilized. Those years sparked her tenacity, social vitality and charm. She had many friends and worked as a beauty operator in Atchison and later as a switchboard operator for the Santa Fe Railroad.
She married Harlan Foster in 1950 and together they raised six children before Harlan’s untimely death in 1978. Doris leaves behind children Monica Matson (Steve) of Hoyt, Mark Foster (Brenda) of Indianapolis, Ind., LeAnn Ronsse (Dennis) of Anchorage, Alaska, Gary (Lynda) of Fort Scott, Belinda Flynn (Tom) of Topeka and Donna Southall (Rusty) of Topeka. She leaves 17 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.
Doris will be remembered for her devotion as a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and her selfless volunteerism in the communities of Hoyt and Mayetta. Food has been her language of love in sharing with others. At many meals she was the cook, and also the one who planted it, weeded it, watered it, harvested it, processed it and put it on the table, for not only her family but for many members of her community.
She was the all-star in any kitchen and for more than 40 years was a leader for the Hoyt Livewires 4-H Club, where she shared many of her secrets in sewing, canning, bread baking, and pie making. Doris was known for her Purple Ribbons from baked goods and canning entered in the Jackson County Fair yearly, until she turned 90. Riding in the 2012 Hoyt Community Parade as well as the 2012 Jackson County Fair Parade as Grand Marshal made her a local celebrity and was a highlight of her life.
At St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church Doris helped with religion classes, sponsored Eagle Scouts earning the “Ad Altare Dei” awards and was a baker at many fund-raisers to support parish youth. Doris was an officer and volunteer at both the Mayetta and the Hoyt senior citizen meetings, cooking their Thanksgiving turkeys and hams for 18 years!
The caring for others, linked with her faith in God and priority on family, was her strength. Doris provided an unshakable moral compass and positive influence on her family. She had a wonderful wit and loved to laugh. Doris was very active throughout her years, was an avid gardener, bread baker and jelly maker. She jumped at opportunities to travel with family, most recently to Alaska at age 101! As a mother and mentor, she set a good example of dealing with whatever life throws and emerged with well-educated, loving children and adoring friends.
Family and friends will celebrate Doris’s life well-lived with a mass of Christian burial at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 27 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Mayetta. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery at Hoyt. Doris will lie in state after noon on Sunday, Nov. 26 at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Hoyt. A visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, with a rosary prayed at 3:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to Saint Francis Xavier Church Youth Group or the Didde Catholic Campus Center and may be sent in care of the funeral home, P.O. Box 280, Hoyt, KS 66440. Online condolences may be made at chapeloaksfuneralhome.com