Harry Goddard Foster III


Harry Goddard Foster III was born February 10, 1936, in Delaware, Ohio.  He grew up in a military family, attending high school in Heidelberg Germany from 1950-53.  This was before any American school system had been established.  Because it took months for the US Army to find and confiscate a German family’s home for the Foster family of nine to live in, Harry slept and ate at the German High School behind barbed wire to protect the American students.  Taking on a military career himself, Harry was the Commander of Cadettes at The Ohio State University before accepting his active-duty commission.  He experienced the Vietnam war in all phases, while earning two Bronze Stars.  His first of three one-year tours of duty was in 1963 as a special forces’ advisor during the Kennedy administration.  He was in Saigon in 1968 during the Tet Offensive.   In 1972 he was able to return home a month early as US forces began to draw down.  After serving with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he completed his 23-year career in 1978 as a Lt. Col teaching Counterinsurgency and Anti-Terrorism Tactics at the Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS.

      Harry then used his GI Bill to attend seminary and become a pastor.  Joking with many of his friends who could not understand this transition he would reply “After 20 plus years of giving them Hell, I thought I would try the other side.”  While still completing seminary he became the organizing pastor for Covenant United Methodist Church Austin, TX.  He was given five acres and salary support for two years in 1981 to successfully launch a vibrant congregation that he served for twelve years.  There were four other congregations he served before his second retirement.

     Never one to sit around idly, he decided on a third career as an Assistant Professor at Texas Lutheran University, Seguin, TX.  He taught Old Testament studies there for nine semesters.  The admissions department directed all incoming veterans to his class for their required Introduction to Theology.  It helped close the loop on all his careers and became a mentoring process in which he took great pride.  

   Harry is survived by his wife of 64 years Jo Ann, sons Doug (wife Shari) of Lockhart, TX and Mike (wife Linda) of Queen Creek, AZ.  Four grandchildren Stefanie (Paul), Kristyn (Kyle), David (Erin), and Megan (Erik).  As well as five great grandchildren Jax, Kaiden, Harper, Wade, and Hazel.  

A private family graveside service will be held.  In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to make memorial gifts, the family suggests Habitat for Humanity Texas, https://habitattexas.org/product/other/ 

Please sign the guestbook at www.doeppenschmidtfuneralhome.com 


Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.