John David “J.D.” Foust died September 2nd at Rex Hospital, following a brief illness.
He was born in 1927 at Snow Camp, North Carolina, the son of Harvey Clinton Foust, Sr. and Aileen Thompson Foust. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1949 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Recreation and in 1967 received a Master of Science Degree in Public Administration, also from UNC.
After a stint in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, he was working with the Sanford City Recreation Department when he met his wife of 62 years, the former Betty Jean Sanders, a beginning public school teacher from nearby Lemon Springs.
In 1952 they were married and moved to Thomasville where he went to work for the City Recreation Department and became its director in 1955. They lived in Thomasville nine years.
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In 1961 he joined the North Carolina Recreation Commission in Raleigh.
In 1965 he became coordinator for state and federal relations for the newly formed Community College System and was instrumental in getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants for numerous local colleges across the state.
In 1970, he became Director of State and Federal Programs, NC Department of Administration and continued procuring grant money for community colleges and local governments.
In 1976, he joined the late Harlan Boyles, State Treasurer, as Secretary of the Local Government Commission and later was named Deputy State Treasurer, a position he held until retiring in 1989. In that capacity, he was responsible for managing the state’s debt and selling bonds for various agencies of state and local government. During his tenure, the state finally paid off the mountain of debt it had accumulated since before the Great Depression and earned its Triple A Credit rating.
Upon retirement he became a financial consultant with the Wall Street Firm, Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette Security and a trustee for the NC Capital Management Trust.
J.D. was employed for a total of 39 years in local and state government. He served with six governors: Terry Sanford, Dan Moore, Bob Scott, Jim Holshouser, Jim Hunt and Jim Martin.
J.D.’s hobbies included antique automobiles, woodworking, gardening and beekeeping.
Taking care of his honey bees was a passion since the early 1990s when a swarm of bees showed up on his farm in Snow Camp. It was the same farm on which he was born and grew up. It was the same land once farmed by his grandfather.
Not long after he became interested in beekeeping, he was elected president of the Wake County Beekeeping Association and also became involved in the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association (NCSBA) where he served on various committees, 2nd vice president and then lst vice president.
In 2003, he was elected NCSBA State President. Under his leadership, membership doubled from around 800 to more than 1,700, boosted by a grant from the Golden Leaf Tobacco Fund that awarded 500 colonies of honey bees to newcomers. Some 2,800 applications were received to participate in the program. That was North Carolina’s response to the threat to honey bees poised by an invasion of parasitic mites that killed all of the feral honey bees at that time and destroyed half of all domestic colonies.
Membership in the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association has doubled again, giving it claim to being the largest beekeeping organization in the United States.
Also during J.D.’s leadership a formal campaign was begun to raise a quarter million dollars to build a unique honey bee exhibit at the NC Zoo. That exhibit is now one of the most popular attractions at the zoo and has drawn interest from beekeepers around the world.
For their contributions to beekeeping, J.D. and Dr. Betty Jean Foust were jointly awarded the NCSBA’s highest honor in 1980, the McInver-Hass Lifetime Achievement Award.
Along the way, J.D. became a Master Craftsman Beekeeper, the highest level of proficiency in the state’s Master Beekeeping Program. Another achievement that brought him a great deal of pride was being awarded the rank of Eagle Scout.
“While revered State Treasurer Harlan Boyles was the trusted keeper of the state’s public purse, J.D. Foust made certain that purse was always secure,” said Thad Woodard, President of the North Carolina Banker’s Association, and neighbor. “His many decades of service helped assure North Carolina’s fiscal conservative reputation. He lived his life as he fulfilled his job.”
He was a member of the Edenton Street Methodist Church since 1962.
He was preceded in death, in addition to his parents by a younger brother, Harvey Clinton Foust, Jr.
He is survived, in addition to his wife by a sister-in-law, Mrs. Faye Bunn of Spring Hope; nieces, Mrs. Frieda Hood and husband, Danny, of Goldsboro; Mrs. Harriet Cook and husband, Fred, of Spring Hope; sister-in-law, Rose Foust of Morganton and nephews, Harvey Foust of Morganton and Michael Foust of Morganton.
A graveside service will be held on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 11:00 am at Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery, Snow Camp, NC. A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm at Edenton Street United Methodist Church, Raleigh, NC with a reception of guests to follow.
Condolences can be sent to the family at www.brown wynne.com