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Willis "Lefty" Anthony Foster
Willis "Lefty" Anthony Foster

Willis "Lefty" Anthony Foster

August 4, 2017

   Willis A. "Lefty" Foster, 95, of Eau Claire, died peacefully on Friday, August 4, 2017, at Clearwater Care Center.

   He was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on August 2,1922, the son of William and Agnes (Frank) Foster.

   Lefty graduated from St. Patrick's High School in 1940. While attending high school, Dad acquired the name Lefty because of his left-handed basketball play.

   As a member of the greatest generation, Lefty served as an engineer/gunner on a B-24 Liberator during World War II with the 8th Air Force based in Horsham-St. Faith, England, flying 31 missions over Western Europe. He was honorably discharged in 1945.

   On June 20, 1953, Lefty married his wife of 54 years, Hildegarde "Hilde" Ziegenbein, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Eau Claire He owned Foster Abstract and Title Co., Inc., from 1959 to 2008. He was a member of the Wisconsin Land Title Association and served on many committees and was President in 1982-83.

   Lefty was a member of many area service organizations throughout his adult life, including: Eau Claire Noon Lion's Club, Elks, Knights of Columbus, American Legion, and Westgate Sportsman's Club.

   Lefty was a Parishioner of Immaculate Conception Catholic Parish, and during that time helped organize the fish boils for several years. He was also a Booster Club member at Regis High School and worked the chain gang during Regis home football games. He was the Regis Non Sibi recipient in 2005. For many years he donated the award blanket for the Senior Athlete of the Year.

   He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Lefty and Hilde enjoyed dancing, boating, and spending time with family and friends. He was also an avid sports fan, enjoying the Green Bay Packers, UWEC Blugolds, and the Wisconsin Badgers. He officiated prep basketball with the Indianhead Athletic Official Association for many years.

   Lefty is survived by his three daughters, Peggy Foster of Eau Claire (special friend David Bailey), Debra Foster of Eau Claire, and Jane (David Henderson), of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota; and a son, Mark (Denise Foster) of Eau Claire; five grandsons, Justin (Katherine), Nick, Kyle, Ben, and Matthew; and by many nieces and nephews.

   He was preceded in death by wife, Hilde; his son, Terry; his parents; and sisters Marion Tubbs and Rosemary Krogman.

   Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, August 14, 2017, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, with Father Don Meuret celebrating the Mass. Inurnment will be at Forest Hill Cemetery Columbarium, Eau Claire, with military honors provided by American Legion Post #53 Eau Claire. Visitation preceding mass will begin at 9:30 a.m. Please join us for lunch, M&Ms, Mountain Dew & reminiscing on a life well lived at the church following the interment service.

   The family would like to extend a special thanks to the staff at the Clearwater Care Center. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Regis Field Project, Regis Track & Field Project, c/o Perry Myren, Athletic Director, 2100 Fenwick Ave, Eau Claire, WI.  54701.

     Chippewa Valley Cremation Services in Altoona is serving the family.  Online condolences may be left at www.chippewavalleycremation.com.


Visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service, at church.


Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, August 14, 2017, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Eau Claire, WI.

Florist Information

Four Seasons Floral - Eau Claire. All flowers should be delivered to the church by 8:45 a.m. Monday.


  • Denise Gilchrist So sorry, I just heard of your loss, Lefty was a really great and caring guy. He helped me along the way in my career with his knowledge and advise, I’ve never forgotten.

    November 6 at 8:24am

  • Dan and Katie Casey Mark, Debbie, Peggy, Jane and all the Grand Kids,

    Our heart felt condolences to you all. Lefty was a true classic family man of his generation; kind, giving and a true defender of the American way. I have many fond memories of of Lefty's wit hanging out with the Foster's. Tolerance of drumming, playing loud music and questionable use of the family station wagon (The Starship Tooper) demonstrated patience of a high order. I'm sorry we could not attend the service, but our thoughts are with you today.


    Dan & Katie Casey

    August 14 at 12:27pm

  • Mark A. Bartlett I am so very sorry to hear the loss of your father. We Believers Have a Blessed Hope. "And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
    Revelation 14:13

    August 12 at 11:25am

  • Paul Brenner Dear Mark Foster & Family

    I only knew your dad by face and the last time I saw him was many years ago - probably early 1980-something. He came out of the title shop on Graham and walked down a few cars. Pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket, wiped the meter maid chalk off his tire and went back inside. Cracked me up - the guys of our dad's era were awesome. Sorry for your loss

    Paul Brenner Regis '79

    August 11 at 2:45PM

  • John, Pat (Hartung), Justin and Jennifer Wetzel We are sorry to see the passing of Lefty. We have lots of great memories of your family. Pat's mom Evelyn Hartung used to spend many hours with Hilde doing ceramics in their home. Our baby Jenny would sleep on Hilde's couch while Evelyn worked on ceramic projects. Lefty was nice enough to invite our family, with Evelyn, to take a trip down the Mississippi River. We stayed overnight in LaCrosse and traveled further down and then way past Alma. It is a trip we will never forget. Lefty lost his cap when he had to chase us because we had wondered into a place where we could hit a wing dam because we were distracted by the sites. We had a little boat and Lefty was patient with us because we had a hard time keeping up to his beautiful boat. He knew the river like the back of his hand. Whenever we looked for new boats I would compare them to Lefty's. We often talk about the river trip and the great memories. Rest in Peace Lefty!

    August 10 at 12:27PM

  • Karen (Loehnis) Hennig Debbie, so sorry to hear about your dad. Take comfort in knowing he is with your mom again. Please give my condolences to all of the family and know I'm thinking about all of you. Take care.

    August 8 at 9:52PM

  • Mary Jacobson Jane: I am so very sorry for your loss. Losing my parents very recently, I know what you are going through. Cherish all of the wonderful memories you have of your dad. He will now be your guardian angel, watching over you with much pride. You will see him again....

    August 8 at 11:17AM

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