Well done, Rich Foster; well done Pat Ford
Last month two good men from Canandaigua died. Two men who worked hard and were dedicated to their families, but also had something special that they both did that was extraordinary.
Rich Foster was an industrial salesman and lived on Wells Curtis Road. Rich was married to Marlene, a VA nurse. They had three lovely children: Bill, Craig and Julie. Rich was devoted to his Baptist church and to his family. Rich often took the family camping, fishing and skiing, then bought a cabin on Rondaxe Lake near Old Forge. Hundreds of people had wonderful weekends there and created lasting memories with great times with family and friends in this Adirondack gem.
In the early 1980s, a friend of the church went through a separation and housing was a problem. A young son needed a temporary home, a family and the support essential to the success of young people. I don’t know if it was three months or a year or two, but Rich and Marlene Foster opened their house to another in need without hesitation. This young man worked hard in school and in sports, and went on to become an academic and eventually received the first Division 1 college football scholarship to a Canandaigua Academy graduate. This young man, named Jake, got married, has a good career and, in addition to a strong faith, is also totally focused on his children and his community. In a time of vulnerability, Rich Foster led his family by providing a loving home and a bridge to the stability and success of this young man. Well done, Rich Foster.
Pat Ford lived on the corner of Park Street and the Park near Gibson Street. Pat was a hard worker and owned a successful retail furniture business. Pat was married to Lillian and they too had three beautiful children: Lisa, Joe and Sandra. Pat has held his children to high standards in class, in sports and with their conduct. Pat’s faith was also strong.
Also at one point in the early 1980s, Joe brought home a soccer friend named Eugene. Eugene was a nice boy I knew from St. Mary’s and he had a few sisters. Their house was not stable and Eugene, who was a good student and a good athlete, was also vulnerable and needed more. Pat and Lillian got to know Eugene and his situation, and they invited him to move in. Instead of a boy who was temporarily living with the Ford family, Pat and Lillian declared Eugene their son. Eugene flourished in school, in sports, and eventually in college. Today, Eugene is also a very successful businessman in California with a wife and children, to whom he is also 100% dedicated.
At a time when traditional family values ââare not praised or seem to mean nothing to some anymore, we must congratulate parents and fathers like these, two who stepped up, did not hesitate and helped consolidate success and to create a bridge of love and support and a beautiful home to those in need.
Very well done, Rich Foster. Very well done, Pat Ford.
Bob Houle is a resident of Honeoye Falls.