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Paul M. Foust

November 30, 1929 February 28, 2020
Paul M. Foust
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Obituary for Paul M. Foust

Paul M. Foust, of Harborcreek, surrounded by his family, died February 28, 2020 at Sarah Reed Senior Living. The son of Arthur Arden and Amelia Marie Foust, he was born in Erie on November 30, 1929. He lived a rich full life and had a deep impact on anyone who interacted with him. He had many titles but none more important than husband, father, and grandfather.
Paul grew up at 10th and Cascade, attending Edison Elementary, Gridley Junior High, and Strong Vincent High School. He lettered in basketball and baseball, helping the Colonels win the 1947 City baseball championship as a senior. Following high school, he pitched in the Glenwood League and was impressive enough to be given the opportunity to play professional baseball with the Wellsville Braves. Paul was drafted at the same time into the US Army at the onset of the Korean War so he chose to enlist in the US Air Force instead. He entered radio operators’ school and it was there that his aptitude for teaching was first noticed by his superiors. He was given the chance to stay at the school and teach but he declined in favor of shipping out with his unit to Korea. While there, Paul served on an air-sea rescue crash boat assigned to retrieve downed pilots. It was in the Air Force, as he travelled the far east especially, his love of country was reinforced as he saw first-hand how much the United States was admired by people throughout the world thirsting for democracy.
At the end of the war, stationed in Southport, NC, Paul met his wife Jacque and, after a brief stay in Sumter, SC, they moved to Erie where they began their 65 year journey together. He was employed by Hammermill Paper and, starting in 1954, attended school full-time (while working full-time) at Edinboro State Teachers College, earning a degree in Social Studies Education and later a master’s degree from Edinboro as well. Paul was not the most famous Foust to graduate in his class, however, that honor belonged to his dog Casey who escorted him to school every day and whose profile was published in the school newspaper that spring. He was a proud Edinboro alumnus, attending many football and basketball games. From 1967-1968 he served as the President of the Alumni Association.
Upon completion of his studies, Paul was hired by the Harbor Creek School District in 1958 and for next 34 years taught American History and positively influenced generations of students to appreciate all that we have in America. In addition to his teaching duties, he advised the Model UN for years, taking them on legendary trips to New York City, Toronto, and Washington DC. He later was the director of the entire Model UN for Gannon University. He also sponsored more after-game dances than anyone on faculty. Early in his career, Paul coached football and basketball and then served as the PA announcer and scorekeeper for the games until his retirement. For 32 years, he served as the head coach of the baseball team compiling a record of 396-200-3. His teams captured eight Erie County League titles and one District-10. More importantly, he mentored and served as a role model for all his players to play hard, play within the rules, and, win or lose, play with class. In the end, while he loved coaching, Paul stressed he was a teacher first who coached. He also did much to improve the standing of teachers as a profession. He was a faculty leader who was instrumental in the early days of collective bargaining. One contract he helped negotiate was hailed as the “best in the state” and was requested by school districts throughout Pennsylvania to use in their own negotiations. During summer breaks, he worked at Whitford Park and served as Harborcreek’s Park Director for over 20 years. He taught many kids to swim in the dammed up 6-Mile Creek and established many rec programs that remain today.
In addition to his career as a teacher and coach, Paul had a love for public service. An unapologetic and staunch Democrat, he was active in many political campaigns and served as the Erie County Democratic Party’s chair twice. He was elected to Erie County Council in 1983 and served until 1995. Two of his proudest votes were to establish the new state of the art library on the bayfront and to get Jerry Uht Park built. Following his times as a Councilman, Paul served on the Erie County Convention Center Authority and a West Point selection committee. As a community leader, his work was honored by then Mayor Lou Tullio with Paul Foust Day on November 16, 1982.
For his hard work and dedication, he received many honors throughout his life. Paul earned induction into three halls of fame for his work in athletics. In 2000, he was elected into the Erie Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame for his work as a high school coach. In 2010, he was inducted into the Erie Big Ball Hall of Fame honoring his 30 plus years of play in the City Rec Slo-Pitch League where his team, “The Jokers”, won countless regular season and tournament titles. And in 2011, he was an inaugural member of the Harbor Creek Athletic Hall of Fame for his legendary contributions to the athletic program there. He started the Erie County Baseball All-Star game in the mid-1960s and then later served as the game manager for years upon his retirement from coaching. Paul has two ballfields named in his honor, the baseball field at Harbor Creek High School and the softball field (which he built with a friend) at Whitford Park.
His interests were varied and wide. He loved sports and wrote for many newspapers including the Edinboro College Spectator, the Erie Dispatch, and the Weekly Sentinel. Paul later co-founded the Tri-Community News and served as the sports editor. He was a passionate fan of the New York Yankees and was a season ticket holder for the Erie Seawolves for over 20 years. For a long time, with whatever free time he had in the summer, he loved to walleye fish with his children and his great friend, Bob Black. He saw Mamma Mia so many times it was joked that he was an honorary cast member. He was a lifetime member of the Erie Moose, Siebenbuerger and Maennerchor Clubs and also a member of North East Lodge # 399 F&AM, the Erie Shrine Club, and the American Legion Carl Neff Post 571.
He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant sister, Joan; his brother, James, who died far too young; his sister, Judith; and three brothers-in-law, Peter Larsen, Filmore Biletnikoff and Charles White.
He will be sadly missed by his many friends but mostly by his wife of 65 years, Jacque; and his eight children, Keith Foust (Kari Ann), Karen Foust, Kristy Foust, Kevin Foust (Martha), Kim Thompson (Jim), Kyle Foust (Casey), Kerry Badach (Chet), and Kenneth Foust. He reveled in his role as Papa and will be greatly missed by his many grandchildren, Ryan, Andy, Kristen, Paul R., Anna, and Evan Foust, Derek Hoenes (Jenna), Jared and Amelia Thompson, Jacob, Molly, and Daniel Badach, Emily and Elisabeth Stoll, Brooke Quarisa (Mike), Amber Anderson; and his great grandchildren, Aryonna and Carter Foust, Amariya Crosby, Domani and A’leynah Carter, Leighton Hoenes, Warren Quarisa, and Logan and Eli Anderson. He is also survived by sister-in-law, Donna White; and six nieces and nephews, David Biletnikoff (Liesel), Amy Biletnkoff-Oldach (Mark) and Stephanie Penninger, Shawn and Stephen White, and Shelby Geiger.
Friends may call at the Dusckas-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., 5151 Buffalo Road (at Hannon Rd. in Harborcreek Twp.) on Saturday, March 7th from 5 to 8 pm, and Sunday, March 8th from 1 to 4 pm and 6 to 9 pm and are invited to attend a Funeral Service on Monday March 9th at 11 am at the First Presbyterian Church of Harborcreek where Paul served for many years as an Elder, Deacon, and Scholarship Committee Chair. Burial will follow Laurel Hill Cemetery with Military Honors rendered by the American Legion Carl Neff Post 571. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials to support future students and ballplayers be made to the Harbor Creek Baseball Club, C/O Treasurer Barb Mosbacher, 1919 Hannon Road, Erie, PA 16510 or the First Presbyterian Church of Harborcreek’s Camp Scholarship Fund, PO Box 67, Harborcreek, PA 16421.

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Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

7

Mar

5:00 PM 3/7/2020 5:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 3/7/2020 8:00:00 PM
Dusckas-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.

5151 Buffalo Road
(at Hannon Rd. in Harborcreek Twp.)
Erie, PA 16510

Dusckas-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.
5151 Buffalo Road Erie 16510 PA
United States

Visitation

Sunday

8

Mar

1:00 PM 3/8/2020 1:00:00 PM - 4:00 PM 3/8/2020 4:00:00 PM
Dusckas-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.

5151 Buffalo Road
(at Hannon Rd. in Harborcreek Twp.)
Erie, PA 16510

Dusckas-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.
5151 Buffalo Road Erie 16510 PA
United States

Visitation

Sunday

8

Mar

6:00 PM 3/8/2020 6:00:00 PM - 9:00 PM 3/8/2020 9:00:00 PM
Dusckas-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.

5151 Buffalo Road
(at Hannon Rd. in Harborcreek Twp.)
Erie, PA 16510

Dusckas-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.
5151 Buffalo Road Erie 16510 PA
United States

Service

Monday

9

Mar

11:00 AM 3/9/2020 11:00:00 AM
First Presbyterian Church of Harborcreek

6724 Buffalo Road
Harborcreek, PA 16421

First Presbyterian Church of Harborcreek
6724 Buffalo Road Harborcreek 16421 PA
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Laurel Hill Cemetery Final Resting Place

4523 Love Road
Erie, PA 16506

4523 Love Road Erie 16506 PA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Harbor Creek Baseball Club

c/o Barb Mosbacher
1919 Hannon Road
Erie, PA 16510

First Presbyterian Church of Harborcreek

6724 Buffalo Road
Harborcreek, PA 16421
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