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John Herbert Foster

February 8, 1935 ~ August 15, 2019 (age 84)

John Herbert Foster Sr.  departed this life on Thursday, August 15, 2019, in his home in Williamsburg, VA.  He was the oldest of eight children born to the late Johnnie and Evoria Foster on February 8, 1935, in Emporia, VA.  He accepted Christ as his Savior at an early age and joined Antioch Baptist Church in Emporia, VA.  After moving to Williamsburg, he joined hands with Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church where he served as a faithful member until his demise.


Herbert was educated in the Greensville County Public School system.  He received specialized culinary training in White Sulpher Springs, WV.  He enjoyed fishing, sports and especially gardening.  He was once told by a neighbor that if he put a nail in the ground, he believed it would grow.  Although he was known by most as Chef Foster, at home he was simply Herb, Daddy or Papaw.  Chef Foster began his career at Colonial Williamsburg in 1954 and remained there for over 37 years, retiring as the Executive Chef at King’s Arms Tavern on February 1, 1991.

Herbert met Rae Marrow in 1955 and they married on February 20, 1960.  They were blessed with three children.  He was predeceased by two sisters, Lillie Dillard and Christine Foster.  His fond memories will be cherished by his loving wife of 59 years, Rae; their three children, Rayette (Rodney), John Jr. (Vanessa), and Marcus (Shonda); eight grandchildren, Brandy, Bryanna, John III, Nia, Alexis, Maxwell, Madeline and Andreo; five great-grandchildren, Devin, Justin, Jayden, Alana and Makenzie; three brothers, Clyde (Caroline), Willie-Howard, and Johnnie Elijah (Cynthia); two sisters, Delcenia and Gloria; his dear cousin, Effie Revis; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends.

 A service to celebrate his life will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, August 24, 2019, in Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church with Dr. Ronald A. Ellis, officiating.  Interment to follow in the church cemetery.  Family and friends to assemble at the church by 12:30 p.m. Saturday.  Chef Foster may be viewed on Saturday beginning at 11:00 a.m. until the hour of his service.

Professional services entrusted to the staff of Whiting's Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia  23185.  757-229-3011. whitingsfuneralhome.com

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