Mother Grace Foster, at age 90, transitioned to her eternal home on Sunday, June 2, 2019, at NHC Healthcare. She was born in Lexington, Mississippi to the late Bertha Hodges Craige and Ellis Foster. Her stepfather was the late Gus Craige.
Mother Foster moved to Oak Ridge in March 1948 and worked domestically in private homes for several years prior to becoming employed by Oak Ridge Hospital, where she worked for about 6 years as a custodian. She began working at Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) in November 1967 in housekeeping in various positions until she retired in November 1990. After retirement, she spent several years caring for children in her home, which brought her great joy.
Mother Grace loved God first and foremost. She was a devoted and faithful member of Oak Valley Baptist Church, where she served in many ministries. In the early years, she assisted in directing the children’s choir and Singing Bells. She read announcements, welcomed visitors, and worked tirelessly on the Usher Board at the church, where she received a Certificate of Appreciation Plaque in 2006 for over 50 years of faithful and dedicated services to the Usher Board. Mother Grace also served as First Vice President at the Knoxville and Local District. She loved working with people, encouraging the sick and shut-in with her phone calls, cards, prayers and visits to their homes, hospitals and nursing homes. Her life was one of service to God and to other people. You would always see Mother Foster well dressed in her stylish suits and hats at church. Unquestionably, Mother Foster’s top-notch example of Christian living is worthy of emulating by all adults and children.
She was preceded in death by her stepfather and mother: Gus and Bertha Craige; daughter, Bertha Jean Redmond; sister, Pearlie Mae Travis; two brothers: Julius Foster and Cleothus Foster; one niece, Beverly Travis; and one nephew, Dereck Travis.
She leaves to cherish her memories, a loving daughter, Margaret Caldwell, Orlando, Florida; devoted grandson, Bronchee’ (Jay) Redmond, St. Louis, Missouri; dedicated nephew, Jimmie (Ricky) Travis, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; three granddaughters: Tareeka Caldwell and Grace Caldwell, both of Orlando, Florida, and Amanda Caldwell, Atlanta, Georgia; three great-grandchildren: Philip Caldwell, Atlanta, Georgia, Trinity Cocrel, Orlando, Florida, and Paris Cocrel, Cincinnati, Ohio; three nieces: Betty Travis, Pam Travis, and Marsha Travis, all of St. Louis, Missouri; one nephew, Chuck Travis, St. Louis, Missouri; three great-nieces: Deshundra (Dee Dee) Williams, Knoxville, Tennessee, Shanae’ Simmons-Chiriuschin and Cerissa Whittier-Lewis, both of St. Louis, Missouri; four great-nephews: Gavin Travis, Knoxville, TN, Amorro (Maurice) Whittier, Derrion Bennett and Trent Simmons, Jr., all of St. Louis, Missouri; three great-great- grandchildren: Ja’Kye Golding, and Z’Kyla Golding, both of Orlando, Florida, and Melanie Lewis, Cincinnati, Ohio; and many other family members and devoted friends too numerous to include.
Saturday, June 8, 2019, the family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. with a Homegoing Celebration to follow at Oak Valley Baptist Church, 194 Hampton Road, Oak Ridge, TN. Pastor Derrick Hammond, Officiant and Reverend Margaret Yette- Mack, Eulogist. Interment to follow at Oak Ridge Memorial Park where a dove release will conclude the service. Flowers may be delivered to the church the morning of the service. Professional arrangements entrusted to Patton Funeral Home, Brian L. Buckmon, LFD 1-800-824-8283 or www.pattonfuneralhome1962.com
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