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Published: March 5, 2020

Thomas H. Foster passed away peacefully at home with his adored wife by his side on March 2, 2020. Tom was born in Simmesport, LA on March 7, 1940, the third child of Susan Firmin and George Wellington Foster. He was proud to be a Greying Eagle from Simmesport High School Class of 1958. Tom graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.S. in Vocational Agricultural Education and M.S. in Agricultural Economics. He continued his education earning a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Mississippi State University.  With a career spanning 25 years, Tom was an Agricultural Economist for TVA and International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC).   Following retirement from TVA and IFDC,  he was an adjunct professor of Economics for Northwest Shoals Community College and the University of North Alabama.  Tom’s diverse career afforded him extensive travel opportunities to realize his passion to teach, share his expertise, and experience international cultures.  He especially enjoyed recounting his travel adventures with entertaining stories. Tom truly had a servant’s heart and the selflessly served the Shoals community volunteering with the Florence Optimist Club, Kiwanis Club of Florence, St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store, and Knights of Columbus #3989. He was a devoted member of St. Joseph Catholic Church where he served as a Eucharistic Minister as well as other ministries throughout the years. A long time supporter of UNA Athletics, he was a member of North Alabama Sportsman’s and could be found at Flowers Hall, Braly Stadium and Lane Field supporting his UNA Lions. 

Tom is survived by the love of his life and wife of 55 years, Maxie Cade Foster, children Angela Reid (Ed), Lauren Tant (Chris) and grandchildren Bailey Elisabeth Reid, Cade Foster LeMay, Allen Rebecca Reid, Thomas Joseph Tant, and Lauren Anne-Marie Tant. 

He was preceded in death by his sisters Juanita Zeno and Gladys Bourgeois Canal.

The family especially thanks Drs. William Hobbs, Thomas Johnson, Robert Bailey and their staffs, Hospice of North Alabama.  We also wish to express our appreciation to all of the friends and loved ones who supported, visited and prayed throughout his illness.

Celebration of Tom’s life will be held on his 80th birthday, Saturday, March 7th at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Visitation begins at 11:00 am followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 1:00  pm. With Rev. Roy Runkle and Deacon Greg Beam officiating. A private family graveside service will be held at a later date. Elkins Funeral Home, Florence is assisting the family.

Honorary pallbearers will be the members of Knights of Columbus #3989.  Memorial donations may be made to St. Joseph’s School Foundation (, Society of St. Vincent DePaul (, or charity of your choice.

You’re invited to leave online condolences at