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Senior Lifestyles

Big anniversary, birthday celebrations in Fairlawn couple’s plans

2/6/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Dan Foster, shown with his wife, Lois, will turn 100 on Feb. 10. The couple marked their 73rd anniversary Jan. 28.
Photo: Kathleen Folkerth
FAIRLAWN — There’s a lot of celebrating going on in Dan and Lois Foster’s lives around this time of year.

The couple, who have lived in the Independent Living area at the Village at St. Edward’s for almost two years, just marked their 73rd anniversary Jan. 28. Now they are gearing up to celebrate Dan’s 100th birthday Feb. 10. Lois is 93.

The extreme cold temperatures on their anniversary this year meant that the couple stayed in, so they are hoping to head out for a nice dinner on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

“We had to get a rain check,” Dan said.

The Fosters are natives of Minnesota who met when both were working at a Montgomery Ward store.

“I was in charge of the mail order dock, and she was in accounting,” Dan said. “She came down every day to pick up receipts.”

One day he asked her if she’d like to go horseback riding, and Lois said she’d never gone before. But she agreed.

“I loved it,” Lois said.

The two were married in 1941. Not long afterward, Dan volunteered for the service and was shipped off to England, where he was stationed for 34 months.

He worked on an air base in supplies and was responsible for helping to set up bases. One day he headed to Liverpool, and among the officials he encountered was Princess Elizabeth — now known as Queen Elizabeth.

Lois said she continued to work while Dan was overseas.

“As soon as he returned home, I quit and started having children,” she said, adding they had two boys and two girls. Their son Jack is a West Akron resident, while son Tom is in California and daughter Connie is in Pennsylvania. Another daughter was killed in a car accident in 1984.

Dan worked for Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., first in Minnesota and then in Des Moines and Chicago before being transferred to Akron in 1964. They settled in Wadsworth, where they lived until their move to the Village at St. Edward’s.

Working was always an important part of Dan’s life, he said. As a boy, he and his brother delivered newspapers. Later, an uncle who did road construction hired him in the summers and another uncle hired him to work at his fishing resort, which he continued to do on weekends, even when he worked at Montgomery Ward.

Dan retired from Firestone in 1979, but shortly after that he and other retirees were called back to assist on a project. They temporarily worked in the mornings until noon, then headed out to play golf, one of Dan’s favorite pastimes. He and Lois were members for many years at Firestone Country Club.

The Fosters also enjoyed traveling after Dan retired. They spent winters in Florida for many years and also took cruises to the Caribbean, Panama Canal and Alaska. The latter was the favorite for both of them.

“That was the most interesting,” Lois said. “It was all new to us and great to see the glaciers.”

Lois and Dan chuckle when asked about their long marriage and how they have sustained it over the years. But they do have some advice for couples.

“Make sure you’re making sure and work together,” Dan said.

“The most important words are ‘please,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘may I,’” added Lois.

She also noted that when Dan worked for Firestone, he traveled four to five days a week on business.

“Maybe that’s why we’ve been married so long,” she joked.

Dan, who said his parents lived into their 80s, said he wasn’t sure how his big birthday was going to be celebrated.

“I haven’t got the slightest idea,” he said. “I know I’ll have a piece of birthday cake.”

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