Melvin Arthur Foster

Aug 16, 2014

WAYNESVILLE — On Aug. 15, 2014, at 2:27 a.m., Melvin Arthur Foster, 65, went home to be with his Lord. Melvin passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by family.

Melvin was born Jan. 7, 1949, in Aberdeen Washington, to the late Cordie O’Dear, of Canton, and the late Samuel Foster, of Aberdeen.

Melvin graduated from Sylva Webster High School in 1967. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Warren Wilson College then went on to earn double master degrees in English literature and history.

Melvin had a passion for learning and he taught at West McDowell Middle School for 27 years, encouraging each of his beloved students to not only excel academically but endeavor to be better people.

He was a well loved and deeply respected educator. He made a difference in each life he touched and was honored to serve his country as a naval reservist. Melvin’s other passions included reading, hunting, fishing, and challenging anyone to a serious game of Rummy. He also loved to read and study the Bible. Melvin was a member of Pleasant Balsam Baptist Church and a former member of Greenlee Baptist Church.

Melvin was preceded in death by his youngest son, Jason.

He is survived by his son, Eric; grandson, Blake; brothers Jim (Kathy) Weatherman, of Waynesville, and John Foster, of Maryland; several nephews and nieces; and many special friends.

Melvin was a true gentleman with an incredible sense of humor who never met a stranger.

Funeral services are at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, in the chapel of Garrett Funerals and Cremations with the Revs. Bobby Downs and Ricky Mason officiating. Pallbearers are Chuck Weatherman, Travis Foster, Michael Bryson, Chris Bryson, Kenny Bryson and David Sutton. Burial is at Holly Springs Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends one prior to the service at the funeral home.

Flowers may be sent to Garrett Funerals and Cremations or donations given to MedWest Life Path Hospice in Sylva.

On behalf of Melvin, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude and sincere appreciation to his physicians, Dr. Steven Crider at Mountain Medical Associates, Dr. Angela Connaughton at Western Carolina Pulmonary, and finally to Dr. Mackey and his exceptional staff at Life Path Hospice. We will be forever grateful for your kindness, compassion, and generosity in his final days.

Garrett Funerals and Cremations is caring for the Foster family. Visit