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  • Memorial:  5-7 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home

Mr. Ray Foster, age 77, of Greenville, longtime Greenville businessman and proprietor of OConnors Shoes, passed away Wednesday afternoon, July 30, 2008 at his home under the loving care of his wife and Spectrum Health Hospice. The son of Ben & Hilda (Mayo) Foster, he was born on Jan. 21, 1931 in Edmore and was a 1949 graduate of Greenville High School. A U.S. Army veteran of the Korean Conflict, Ray began working for Bob OConnor at OConnor Shoes in 1963, eventually purchasing the business which was founded in 1893.

On March 17, 1987, at the United Methodist Church in Las Vegas, Nevada, he married the former Marion Oliver-Bennett. Ray was a life member of the Lester J. Sitts Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5065 in Sheridan, the Ray I. Booth American Legion Post 101 in Greenville, and enjoyed hunting and fishing. Ray also found joy in sailing his 36 foot Catalina on Lake Michigan, traveling with his wife, and spending time with his grandkids.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Michael Foster in April of 1992; a sister, Norma Bard; and a brother-in-law, Roy Bard. Surviving are his wife of 21 years, Marion Foster of Greenville; two sons, James & Eileen Foster of Tucson, Arizona, and Jeffrey Foster of Santa Anna, California; a daughter, Sue & Dennis Darmondy of Riverdale; his step-son and successor at OConnors Shoes, Jeff & Kristy Bennett of Greenville; five grandchildren, Jason Foster, Allison Foster, Haley Rentsman, Adam Rentsman, and Joey Bennett; siblings-in-law, Patsy Blake of Gaylord, Sharon & Terry Gunther, Sue & Richard Hawley, all of Greenville, Steve & Gladys Oliver of Vestaburg, Stanley & Patty Oliver of Sheridan, and Mark & Annette Oliver of Brighton; several nieces and nephews; and many, many friends.

The family invites relatives and friends to celebrate Rays life from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, August 2, 2008 at the Brown-Teman & Christiansen Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 511 S. Franklin Street, Greenville. Military honors will conclude the remembrance. Honoring Rays wishes, cremation has taken place, and private burial will be in East Montcalm Cemetery.

Instead of flowers, Ray would have appreciated contributions in his memory to the Flat River Historical Society. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Rays online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please click the "Sign Guest Book" above.



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1 Condolence

  1. Anonymous on July 30, 2008 at 12:00 am


    12/01/2010 –

    Doris Clark

    Marion, it has been so nice to reconnect with you. Ray was a wonderful man and he loved you dearly. I wish I had called sooner (as I said) and had the discussions we had this past week. I’m so glad you two had 21 years together. Life is good and family is all. (That was my dad’s big motto. I always liked it.)
    Love, Doris

    08/18/2008 –

    Ellen Fisher

    08/06/2008 –

    John Finch

    My condolences to the entire Foster family. He was always “Mr. Foster” to me and I will remember him as a neighbor, a gentleman, and a great friend of the Finch Family.

    08/04/2008 –

    Mat & Beth Groom

    Both of us were so sorry to hear about Ray. We just found out today, Marion, we are sorry we didn’t get to make it to the funeral service. Please accept our dearest and deepest sympathies. Ray was a good man, and he and Charles (Dad) are sailing together as we speak, they are enjoying themselves. Take care of yourself and God Bless.

    08/04/2008 –

    Larry & Cheryl Prosser

    We are so sorry to hear about Ray. We didn’t realize he had been ill. We enjoyed you both as neighbors and Larry always liked talking to Ray when they were doing yard work. They always had a good story to share. What a great guy – he will be missed by many. Please accept our deepest sympathy. Larry & Cheryl

    08/03/2008 –

    Jerry & Rosie Kohn

    Marion, Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family at the lost of Ray.

    08/02/2008 –

    JoY Myers

    Our thought are with you.

    08/02/2008 –

    Larry Alman

    I first met Ray when he moved across the street from my parents in the 50’s, I think it was. I remember his first son Jim was very small or maybe not born. We use to play football in the side yard with Jim and Jeff.
    Ray’s wife Bev at the time was very kind to help my Mother when she was struck with cancer and passed away in 1963.
    I moved away from Greenville in 1961 and every time I would come back to visit I would dee Ray around and he was always curious as to what I was ding and every time I seen him he had a smile on his face. He always asked how my Father was doing.
    My first job was about a week cleaning out the old Water’s Shoe store at .75 cents an hour. That was big money and he was good to work for as well.
    I am going to miss Ray, he was always good to me and always had a kind word.

    08/01/2008 –

    Chuck & Bev Houck

    Ray and I had some GOOD!! time together.

    08/01/2008 –

    Alison & Carl Barberi

    Dear Marion and family,
    We are so sorry for your loss.
    Carl and I were both shocked as we hadn’t heard he was ill.
    Marion I know you remember the too many years ago when I would stop to sell Ray an ad for the newspaper. O’Connor’s was one of my best accounts that I had the privledge of working with for the longest time. We’re sorry we won’t be able to join you all to celebrate Ray’s life but you all certainly be in our thoughts and prayers. With deepest sympathy, the Barberi’s

    08/01/2008 –

    Roger Royer/Randi Richardson

    Our sympathies to the Foster family. Although we were new acquaintances of Ray we found him to be ever the gracious man. Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you during this time of remembrance.

    08/01/2008 –

    Alison Foster

    Grandpa- we will miss you. I have great memories of boating, fishing, and even playing craps with you. It was so nice spending time with you during the past couple months. You will be missed. Love, Ali

    08/01/2008 –

    Frank Diehl

    Marion, I am so sorry to hear of Ray’s passing. Ray was one of a kind. Customers like Ray, are very rare in today’s business environment. He was straight forward, and a decent human being. Ray will be missed by a lot of people. It has been a pleasure to get to know Ray and his family. May he rest in peace now…

    08/01/2008 –

    Darla Reese

    My sympathies to your families.
    I work at Red Wing Shoe Company and met Ray over ten years ago when he came to purchase damage shoes from Jerry. It was always nice to hear that he would be coming to get shoes. He was a very wonderful man!

    08/01/2008 –



    07/31/2008 –

    Bob Bird

    Hi: My condolences to Rays family. I met Ray in Las Vegas. He was visiting Pete Bernth there and we had a good time playing some craps and having dinner at the HorseShoe Casino. Ray was a good guy and will be missed by anyone that new him.
    Bob Bird

    07/31/2008 –

    Kathy Athey

    I am so sorry for your loss. Ray always treated my Mother and since myself and my daughters very well when we purchased shoes at O’Connor’s Shoes. He will be missed.

    07/31/2008 –

    Mike Thorington

    Sue, Sorry to hear about your dad. You are in my thoughts at this difficult time. Mike

    07/31/2008 –

    Debbie Letts

    Dear Marion and family, Please accept my sincere sympathy in you huge loss of Ray. I did not know him well but he always had a smile when I stopped in, even though, usually I was trying to sell him something. I know he will be greatly missed by all. Know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Debbie Letts WSCG Radio

    07/31/2008 –

    Michael & Nancy Schreiner

    Such a great loss to family and the City of Greenville. Our thoughts are with the family at this time of loss.

    07/31/2008 –

    Craig Golden

    My last memory of Ray was in March when he came to pick up the shoes and take them back to Greenville . Their had to be 600 pairs and he brings up a truck that holds may be 500 pairs but he got them in. They were in the front seat also straped to the top of the roof it look like Sanford and Son comming down the road.Ray will certainly will be missed by the Golden Shoes familly.My condolences go out to Marion Jim and Jeff and the rest of the familly. Sincerely, Craig Golden

    07/31/2008 –

    Fred and Jane Walkington

    Karen Hulbert had told us that Ray was ill. We are sad to lose a friend.
    Ray had a unique sense of humor that I will miss. We moved from Greenville about twenty years ago but Ray and I would have coffee from time to time when I came to town to see my mother.
    Take care Marion, and God bless all of you

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