Clarence Foster


Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2005

Lifelong Juneau resident Clarence "Clancy" Foster, 84, died peacefully at home on Jan. 18, 2005.

He was born in Juneau on Oct. 14, 1920, to John Foster, who first arrived in Alaska as part of the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898, and to Zealandria Griffin Foster, who emigrated from Australia to Alaska in 1906. During his early years, he lived in a boarding house for AJ miners, owned by his mother and located where the Baranof Hotel is today. He graduated from Juneau High School in 1940.

In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served two combat tours of duty in a bombing squadron in the Pacific during World War II. He was called "Juneau" by his squadron mates because they considered Juneau such an unusual place to be from. After the war, he worked for Pacific Northern Airways. In 1948, he married Rosine Eglsaer at the Cathedral of the Nativity in Juneau.

In 1949, he began his career in the trucking and fuel delivery business, initially as the sole owner of Foster's Transfer. In the 1950s, he combined with several other local businesses to form Chilkat Fuel and Alaska Transfer. Upon retirement, he worked in the tourism industry for many years as a tour bus driver.

Travel was a great pleasure for him, and he and Rosine were able to travel extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. In his final years, he was content to remain in Juneau. His family says, "Toward the end of his life, he said that he'd had a wonderful, satisfying life. His favorite word was grandpa."

He is survived by his wife, Rosine; children, Mary, Ann and John; grandsons, Nicholas and Michael; and former son-in-law and good friend, Jerry Buckley, all of Juneau.

A memorial mass will be said at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 21, 2005, at the Cathedral of the Nativity, 416 Fifth Street. A reception will follow in the parish hall. Contributions may be made to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau.

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