Cover photo for J. Chris Foster's Obituary
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1932 J. Chris 2021

J. Chris Foster

July 2, 1932 — May 26, 2021

Chris Foster, 88, died on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 in her home. She was born Juanita Veronic Sanches on July 2, 1932 to James and Pauline (Pilecki) Sanches. She was named after her grandmothers; one from Sicily, the other from Poland. She chose Christine as her confirmation name. Chris grew up in Little Neck, Long Island, and graduated from Bayside High School. She then attended the Scudder School, in New York City, earning a degree in secretarial studies. Chris worked in that field for over a decade. In 1955, she moved to Cortland to attend college, and that is where she met Albert C. Foster, Jr., of Norwich, who was just discharged from the Air Force. The couple married on December 17, 1955, and raised three children, Jeffrey C. Foster, retired Air Force, of Colorado Springs, CO, Mary Martha Rotundo, registered nurse, residing in the state of Washington, and James A. Foster, auto technologies teacher at BOCES in Norwich.

Chris worked throughout her marriage. She was the private secretary to Cyrus Higley, president of Chenango County National Bank, and Wm. Carey, president of General Lab Associates, in Norwich. She also served the president of Tri-State College, Angola, Indiana, and the vice president of Ramada Inns, Phoenix, AZ. At the Ramanda Inns, Chris became assistant director of advertising to Jimmy Starr, a former Hollywoof newspaper columnist. When Chris and Bert moved back to Norwich, upon Bert’s graduation from Arizona State University, Chris became a reporter for the Norwich Evening Sun and was later county editor for the Binghamton Sun-Bulletin, Chenango Edition. The couple lived in Sherburne where Bert taught science at the middle school. In 1970, Chris went to work as a private secretary to the director of nurses at the NYS Veterans’ Home, in Oxford. She enjoyed this job and studied at SUNY Empire State College for a degree in geriatric service. During this time, she was active in volunteer work.

After the loss of her husband, Bert, in 1976, Chris started an arts program at Camp Pharsalia, which was taught by local artists. In 1977, Chris was promoted to the head of the recreational department at the NYS Veterans’ Home. During this time, Chris also started theatrics. She wrote an original musical for children called, ‘Secret of the Terrible Caves,” which included life-sized puppets and original music. Chris was also an in-house editor for the Norwich Shoe Company’s Shoe Horn Monthly. She also started pet therapy at the Chenango County SPCA and Residents Council for the residents of the NYS Veterans’ Home. Other plays that Chris directed with the Chenango Community Players included: Mask, Jesus Christ Super Star, A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Pippen, Joseph, and many more. Several of these were done in dinner theater settings.

Chris is survived by her son, James Foster, daughter-in-law, Patricia (Somers) Foster, grandson and granddaughter, Eric and Hannah Foster, eldest son, Jeff, and his wife, Elaine Foster, and their children, Mary and Emily, and daughter, Mary Rotundo, her husband, James Rotundo, and their children, Rebecca, Catherine, Charles, and Elaina. Chris was predeceased by her husband, Bert Foster.

A Memorial Mass for Chris will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, June 4, 2021 at St. Paul’s Church, where the Rev. Ralph A. Bove, will officiate. Burial will immediately follow at Plymouth Southside Cemetery. There will be no calling hours. Contributions in Chris’ memory may be made to St. Paul’s Church Memorial Fund, or the Chenango County SPCA.

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Friday, June 4, 2021

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