Loretta “Marlene” Foster
November 23, 1937 ~ October 9, 2021
Loretta Marlene Foster, 83, of Turlock, CA, passed away October 9, 2021. Loretta was born in Madera, CA on November 23, 1937 to Viola Evelyn Crowder and Hollis Pafford Jennings. She moved from Madera to Clio, CA with her family when she was a toddler because of her father’s new position at the sawmill in nearby Graeagle. Her mother and a cousin established a Sunday School in Graeagle and Loretta received Jesus Christ at a young age. She enjoyed the few years spent in the small town in the woods, until her father became ill and passed away when she was 5 years old.
Her mother returned with her children to Madera where Loretta attended school and graduated from Madera Union High School in 1955. After high school, she attended Fresno City College in Fresno, CA and worked at Mars Drive-In where she met a handsome Fry Cook and they became engaged. They wrote letters back and forth while he served the US Army in Germany as Signal Corp-Field Radio. When he returned home, Loretta married Loren Foster on December 15, 1962. Their first child, a son Kurt, was born in 1964 in Fresno, CA and throughout the following years they were blessed with three daughters, Sheryl, Teri, and Brenna.
Loretta was a homemaker while her children were young. She specialized in delicious meals and sewing beautiful clothes for her family, as she cared for their home. Loren and Loretta experienced difficulties in their marriage until they both rededicated their lives to Christ in 1966. They credited the Lord, a handful of godly friends, and their pastor for their spiritual growth which also improved their relationship with each other. They attended Calvary Baptist Church in Fresno, where Loren drove the bus to pick up neighborhood children and Loretta taught Sunday School and their children sang for the congregation occasionally. They grew to love each other deeply, and their commitment to each other was a testimony to their family and friends.
In 1976, the Fosters moved to Turlock, CA when Loren accepted a new job in Modesto, CA. Loretta went back to college in 1979, finished her Early Childhood Education Certificate and began teaching preschool. She taught for 32 years at Monte Vista Children’s Center. She enjoyed young children and worked in AWANA and youth activities at the church they attended at the time, the Evangelical Free Church of Turlock.
Loretta loved the outdoors and the family went camping every year, at least once. She loved to cook wonderful meals for her family, taught her daughters to bake pies and cookies and had a sweet tooth that earned her the affectionate title of “cookie monster.” She showed her love by providing the nourishment and fulfillment a home-cooked meal can offer. She grew large gardens with vegetables and fruit trees and canned and preserved the fruit. Loretta had a little stubborn streak that gave her an extra twinkle in her blue eyes. She enjoyed gospel music and hymns but most importantly, she loved reading the Bible and learning more about the Lord her Savior, Jesus Christ. She also had a great love for her home church, Calvary Chapel of Turlock, CA and enjoyed serving and growing with her special Bible Study group. She loved her children and grandchildren and prayed for each one of them. She loved her sister Bonnie and her brother Duane (who is already with the Lord), and all of her nieces and nephews. Her house was filled with photos of every family member she cherished. She dearly missed her husband, Loren, who passed away before her on November 19, 2020. She yearned to see the Lord and her precious Loren’s face again. She finished the race and kept the faith. Her family will miss her daily but will celebrate the fact that she is home, experiencing eternal life through Christ
Loretta is survived by her children Kurt (Doris) Foster, Sheryl (Steve) Ridley, Teri Foster and Brenna Foster; sister Bonnie Justice; grandchildren Lucas Foster, Sarah Foster, Ryan Ridley, Trevor Ridley, Karissa Ridley, Kayla Ridley, Derrik Okoye and Kinsey Okoye, and beloved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Viola Jennings-Brice and Hollis Jennings, and stepfather Ivan Brice.
Viewing will be held at Allen Mortuary on Friday, October 22, 2021 at 12:00p.m. with funeral to follow at 1:00p.m. Interment will be at Turlock Memorial Park.