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Robert Perry Foster, Jr., 93


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Bob FosterRobert Perry Foster, Jr., 93, died of natural causes on Thursday, October 12, 2017, at the Crane’s Mill Health Center in West Caldwell.

A husband, father, grandfather, veteran, and college graduate, he leaves his wife of 63 years, Sally Ann (Bianchi) Foster; his daughter, Margaret Louise Foster Slotkin (Richard); his daughter Kathryn Ann Foster; his son, Andrew Perry Foster (Catherine Smith); seven grandchildren; and friends and family throughout northern New Jersey where he was a lifelong resident.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, to Margaret (Poland) Foster and Robert Perry Foster, Mr. Foster was, together with his late sister, Virginia (Foster) Lincoln, raised in Montclair, graduating from Montclair High School in 1941. He entered Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Conn., in fall 1941, interrupting his college career to join the U.S. Army. Mr. Foster served in the Inspector General’s office of American headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, during the final months and after the end of World War II. He returned to Wesleyan, graduating in 1947 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

Methodical, precise and clever by nature and possessed of exceptional mathematical intelligence, Mr. Foster went to work in 1947 as an analyst for Prudential Insurance Company at its headquarters in Newark. A Newark booster, he rose through the ranks at Prudential, retiring in 1985 as an advisor to the president on special projects. He relished particularly his involvement in the transition through the 1960s and 1970s from hand-managed to computer-processed insurance operations.

He met his wife, Sally Ann Bianchi, at the Montclair Golf Club in 1953 where they were both members. They married in 1954. After a short time in East Orange, in 1957 they bought a perfectly located house across from Verona Park  where they raised their family and participated in school, sports, and civic affairs. Mr. Foster served as member and president of the Verona Sports Boosters in the 1970s and member and chair of the bBoard of the United Way of West Essex in the 1990s.

An enthusiastic host, Mr. Foster prized cocktails and company, spectator sports, difficult cryptograms and puzzles, the stock market, cerebral arguments, his family, college and country, and atypical travel, including a houseboat on the St. Lawrence River, motorhome through the northeast, riverboat on the Mississippi, and Trans-Canadian railway across North America.

The family will hold private graveside services at Mt. Hebron Cemetery. Gifts in lieu of flowers may be directed to the United Way of Essex and West Hudson, 60 Park Pl, Suite 1400, Newark, NJ 07102.

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