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Lowell E. Foster

Lowell E. Foster, 92, of Cary, NC passed away Wednesday June 17th after a period of declining health. Born July 5, 1922 in Corning, IA to Elliott Newton and Velda Iva Harper Foster, he graduated from Corning High School in 1940. He graduated from Engineering Defense Training at Iowa State College, before volunteering in the US Air Force; serving as Crew-Chief Mechanic & Aerial Engineer in the US Training Command and 5th Air Force in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. Days after the bombing of Hiroshima, he served as crew chief for the RKO/Pathé News team who were the first to fly over the city and film the devastation. The resulting footage was shown in movie theaters around the world.

Following his military service he enjoyed a career in aviation where he earned his Aircraft and Engine Mechanics Certificates followed by his private and commercial pilot’s license. He renewed his private pilot’s license in 2009. The later part of his career he served as Quality Control Manager for Massey Ferguson North America in Canada until his retirement in 1988.

October 6, 1946 he married Sadie F. Tomes of Des Moines, IA. One son, Douglas was born to this union. Following their divorce, he was reunited with his high school sweetheart, Virginia D. Carlson Fleming Matthews and they were married May 31, 1975. Their marriage endured until her passing January 12, 2006. The following year he returned to the US, settling in the Raleigh area to be close to his son and family.

Lowell is survived by his son Douglas K. Foster (Cynthia) Cary; two step-sons, David E. Matthews (Carol) Muscatine, IA and John R. Matthews Des Moines; four granddaughters, Erin Jordan (Kevin), Amber Foster Smith (Jeremy) both of Holly Springs, NC, Staci Matthews and Megan Matthews, both of Iowa City, IA; four great-grandchildren, Elias Roller, Iowa City, IA, Jacob Foster Smith, Kyson Jordan, Emma Grace Foster Smith all of Holly Springs. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Charles E. Foster in 2007 and sister Eleanor J. McGaffin in 2014.

A memorial service will be held at White Plains United Methodist Church, Cary at 11:30AM Wednesday June 24th. Lowell and Virginia will be interred at the Oak Hill Cemetery, Corning, Iowa following graveside services including military and Masonic rites at a later date. Memorials may be made to the White Plains United Methodist Church Pastor’s Discretionary Fund.

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