Our mother, Audrey B. Foeste, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, September 1stin Madison, Wisconsin after a brief illness. She was surrounded by her loving family and was able to tell her children and grandchildren how proud she was of each of us and how much she loved us.
Mom was born in Oconto, Wisconsin on September 4, 1920. In 1942, she met the love-of-her-life, Arthur, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and they were married in 1943, two months after she graduated with a BS degree in Home Economics – Dietetics and Dad graduated with a BA in Medical Science. They continued to reside in Madison until Dad graduated from medical school in 1945. After several moves, in 1948, they moved to Bridger. Eight years later, they made Billings their permanent home. They loved Montana.
A voracious reader, Mom’s interests were many and varied. She was a serious student of constitutional history, economics, money and banking, parliamentary law, and world events. She introduced us to a variety of music genre, to ballet, history, and political theory. She never failed to challenge the status quo and to challenge us. Even though her children settled in other areas of the country, she kept in touch with her phone calls and “mail packs” full of articles tailored to each of our interests.
Mom was the family record keeper and had a “card” for each of us, as well as all of her friends. Any event, no matter how big or small, was recorded. If a window were broken, a tooth lost, or a driver’s license obtained, the grandchildren always insisted “I have to call Grandma, so she can put it on my card!”
Grandma taught all of her grandchildren the card game Cribbage. No day was complete without a Cribbage game. She is the only one in the family to ever have a perfect 29 hand.
We are so thankful that Mom was able to spend time with all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren at the wedding of her grandson, Jim, a month ago. We’ll all treasure that memory. Mom devoted her life to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We will miss you, Mom.
Mom was preceded in death by her father, Arthur E. Bitters; her mother, Lydia Fondrie Bitters; her brother, Eugene Bitters; her infant son, Robert Carl; and her husband, Arthur. She is survived by her beloved children: Arthur E. Foeste (Joan) of Madison, WI; William J. Foeste of Brooklyn, NY; Jane F. Wittenwyler (Ron) of Des Moines, IA; Kay F. Goepfert (Wally) of Madison, WI; and “adopted” son, Gary Bradshaw (Patty) of Billings, MT; her grandchildren: Aaron A. Foeste (Rena) of Singapore; Jessica Foeste Baldis (Sisinio) of San Diego, CA; Kyle Ann Goepfert Jenson (David) of McFarland, WI; Megan Wittenwyler Beirne (Brian) of Burlington, NC; Andrew R. Goepfert (Stephanie) of Madison, WI; Kathryn Wittenwyler McGuire (Michael) of North Richland Hills, TX; James R. Wittenwyler (Serra) of Des Moines, IA; William’s god-daughter, Hershley Philogene of Brooklyn, NY: and her great-grandchildren, Jackson Louis Baldis and Ashley Ann Jenson.
Following an internment service at the Bridger Cemetery at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 8th, there will be a memorial service celebrating her life at St. Stephens Episcopal Church at 3:00 p.m. It is our mother’s wish that memorials be made to the Clarks Fork Historical Museum, Fromberg, MT 59029