Cover photo for Barbara Foster's Obituary
Barbara Foster Profile Photo
1933 Barbara 2019

Barbara Foster

February 19, 1933 — September 13, 2019

Barbara Joan (Mercer) Foster, 86

Barbara Joan (Mercer) Foster departed this world and entered into eternal life with her Lord Jesus Christ on September 13, 2019, while at home surrounded by loved ones.  Barbara was born to Luther Wesley Mercer, a Southern Baptist minister and Geneva Monad (Jones) Mercer, a homemaker, in Richmond West Virginia on February 19, 1933.

Barbara’s family moved to Laurel, Maryland shortly after her birth, where she remained until graduating from Laurel High School and then attended Strayer Business College in Baltimore.  While employed as Executive Secretary at the Pentagon, she met a dashing young Lt. Colonel James O. Foster, who was also stationed there.  They were married on October 19, 1957.  Her grace and eloquence played a key role in entertaining foreign diplomats and officers which came with military life.  She loved the travel and embraced the excitement of “Military Life”.

Other employment included executive secretary to other military officers at various Air Force bases.  After her husband’s retirement, they moved to Boise, Idaho, where she became secretary to Joe Albertson of Albertson Foods.  A move to Sun Valley resulted in becoming secretary to Steve Giacobbi, where she organized the development of Giacobbi Square in Sun Valley, Idaho.  After a couple other moves, she and her husband landed in North Idaho, where they retired permanently.  The family used to joke “the excitement of moving they experienced in military life” was always in their blood.

Barbara had a love of classical music and learned to play the piano at a young age.  Being a “preacher’s kid”, Barbara grew up in the Southern Baptist church and spent years playing piano, singing in the choir and teaching Sunday school.  Barbara and her mother, Geneva, sang at numerous churches and events, as well as, for the Billy Graham Crusades choir, when they were in town.  She displayed her faith every day in the way she lived and loved life.  Her generosity and compassion were abundant.  All were welcome at her house.

Barbara’s love of flowers was obvious to anyone who strolled through her back yard; her favorite were roses and lilies and she had a knack for planting in a way so there was an abundance of flowers in bloom throughout the spring and summer winding around pathways and sitting areas.

Barbara became a gourmet chef and incredible baker.  Anyone who was fortunate enough to be a guest for dinner, enjoyed a special treat.  Her fried chicken was always a favorite and her cinnamon rolls, pecan rolls and pies with their impeccably flaky crusts, were world famous.  She was right at home grilling a “burger” or preparing a seven course meal.  Dinner was followed by several deserts.

Each morning you would awaken to the sounds of Beethoven, Mozart or Tchaikovsky on the Baby Grand.  You had better enter with a smile or would be sent back to your room.  She had a beautiful smile and her laughter was infectious.  She greeted each new day with a zest and joy for life.  She left this world with the same dignity, grace and wit that she exhibited every day for her 86 years.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents Luther and Geneva Mercer, her husband Lt. Colonel James Foster and a brother Denney Mercer.  She is survived by daughters Linda Yergler (Larry), Jean Ann Foster, Kim Markel (Duffy) and son James Foster (Tami), as well as, grandchildren Jennifer Milholland (Darin), Hank Yergler (Mandi), Andrew Foster and Leigh Ann Markel.  Two great-grandchildren KJ Walker and Topper Yergler, as well as, brothers Philip Mercer (Gay) and John Mercer (Barbara) and numerous nieces and nephews she loved tremendously.

A Celebration of Barbara’s Life will be held on Saturday, September 28, 2019, at 11:00 the Real Life Ministries in Pinehurst; everyone is welcome.

Anyone wishing to donate in Barbara’s name, please give to a local organization that assists Veterans or Seniors.

You may share your memories of Barbara and sign her guest book at


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Foster, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 5

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree