Paul E. Foster, 68, of Fulton passed away Sunday, January 23, 2022, at home following a long illness. Born in Fulton, he was a lifelong resident. Paul was a graduate of G. Ray Bodley High School, class of 1971, where he lettered in varsity football and gymnastics. In 1973, he received an Associate degree from SUNY at Canton in applied science (Mortuary Science Program) and was a member of Alpha Theta Gamma Fraternity. Upon completion of college, he immediately joined the family firm of Foster Funeral Home, Inc. in Fulton making him the third generation in funeral service following his grandfather and founder of the firm, Rudolph P. Foster “R.P.” and his father, Clifford C. Foster. In 1985 Paul acquired the firm from his father and continued in funeral service until his retirement in 2019. In 1990, he purchased property in the village of Hannibal, NY and built a funeral home to serve the needs of the area. He received an honorary degree from Simmons Institute of Funeral Service in 1996. Paul was an active member and communicant of Holy Trinity Parish in Fulton serving on the parish finance council, as a lector and usher. He was a former member of State Street United Methodist Church in Fulton.
Paul was extremely active in several professional and civic organizations. He was a former member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes, an international funeral service organization of privately owned and operated funeral homes. There, he served on its Board of Directors from 2008 – 2011 and as Secretary-Treasurer in 2011. He was a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and the New York State Funeral Directors Association. Paul was also a member and past president of the Onondaga-Oswego Funeral Directors Association; Central NY Funeral Directors Association; Greater Oswego–Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Oswego County Chamber of Commerce and Greater Fulton Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Paul served on the A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital Board of Directors for over 12 years and was elected as president for three terms of office. He was a member of the Fulton Lions Club for more than 48 years serving as president in 1978-1979 and 2015-2016; as Deputy District Governor; Zone Chairman and was a recipient of the Lions Clubs International Melvin Jones Humanitarian Fellowship Award for community service in 1994. He served on the Catholic Charities of Oswego County Board of Directors for many years and the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Syracuse Corporate Board. Paul had been very active with the Fulton Historical Society serving three terms as president and was a recipient of the Alma Smith Award for Dedicated Service. He was also a member and past chairman of Mt. Adnah Cemetery Board of Trustees.
Paul was a member of several fraternal organizations including Past Master of Hiram Lodge #144 F&AM; Past Potentate of Media Shriners; Past Director of Royal Order of Jesters; York Rite Bodies and Scottish Rite Bodies; Red Cross of Constantine; Knights of York Cross of Honor; St. Joseph’s Council #254, Knights of Columbus; Elks Lodge #830 and Friends of Fort Ontario serving on the board and as president from 2015-2019.
In his spare time, Paul was a Civil War enthusiast and member of the 148th NYS Volunteer Infantry Regiment in Waterloo, NY and Sons of Union Veterans, Camp 146. He enjoyed Civil War reenacting at local and at national events. He frequently traveled to Gettysburg National Military Park and Battlefield and was a member of Friends of Gettysburg Foundation. Paul also enjoyed playing golf and was a longtime member of Beaver Meadows Golf Course.
Surviving are his wife, Debra Rogers Foster, of Fulton; children, Stacey (Joseph) Stoddard Mare of Indiana; Kimberly (Kelly) Goss Leroux of British Columbia, Canada and Dennis (Brea) Goss of Fulton; grandchildren, Lauren Goss, Sarah Leroux, Katie Leroux, Jacob Goss and Brandon Mare; siblings, Ronald (Cynthia) Foster of Fulton and Carol Foster of Oswego; nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, Clifford C. Foster and Ruth Anderson Foster, sister, Sharon Foster Pryor and aunt, Marion Foster Taylor.
Calling hours are Friday, January 28 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay Street, Fulton. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 a.m., Saturday, January 29 at Holy Trinity Parish, corner of Rochester and South Third Streets in Fulton, NY. Burial will be at Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton. In lieu of flowers, contributions are encouraged to Catholic Charities of Oswego County, 808 W. Broadway, Fulton, NY 13069; Friends of Fort Ontario, 1 E. Fourth St., Oswego, NY 13126 or Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2900 No. Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607.