Katherine J. Foster
May 10, 1916 - Jun 15, 2010
Long-time Jackson and Fremont County resident and great-granddaughter of “Uncle Nick Wilson”, Katherine J. Foster, 94, passed away June 15, 2010 in Riverton, Wyoming. At her request, graveside services will be held at the Elliott Cemetery in Wilson, Wyoming on June 19, 2010 at 2:00 pm.
Katherine was born May 10, 1916 to Alvin William Johnston and Wealthy Alice (Etta) Goodrick Johnston in Victor, Idaho. When she was 5 years old, the family moved to Jackson. She was the oldest daughter of 11 girls and 2 boys. Katherine completed the 11th grade at Jackson High School and in the fall of 1934, she received a job offer that kept her from returning to school.
On June 22, 1935, Katherine married Frank F. Foster. To this union was born two daughters. The family lived in Wilson, Jackson, and on various ranches in the area. Frank and Katherine were partners in multiple business ventures in the valley for many years including managing the Hertz rental car Company, big game outfitters, and trail guides. The couple’s great love for horses, big game, and the mountains led to them to the creation of The Beaver Valley Guest ranch. This was the last business they owned in the valley, which they built from the ground up in 1956. The working guest ranch offered ranch accommodations, packs trips, and guided big game hunts in the fall and spring. During the winter months, the ranch served as the feed ground for elk.
In 1968, the couple sold the guest ranch to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, preserving the area for future generations of big game. Frank and Katherine moved over the mountain to a ranch in Crowheart, Wyoming, where they made many new friends. They eventually sold the Crowheart ranch and purchased a ranch in Kinnear, Wyoming. During this time, the couple travelled around the country visiting friends and family until Frank’s death in 1984.
During her Jackson years, Katherine was active in the Cowbelles, Cattleman’s Association, Outfitters Association, and served on the school board in the 1950’s. After moving to Crowheart, Katherine became very active in the Circle K Extension Club giving Katherine the opportunity to enjoy her many hobbies including sewing, crocheting, knitting, quilting, and painting. Katherine was an exceptional cook and her family and friends always looked forward to gatherings where she was the hostess. Katherine loved to tell stories of the Jackson Hole days and at the age of 87, bought a computer and wrote her life story for family and friends to treasure. For Katherine, her family and friends were the most important and she never failed to keep in touch, either through letters or phone calls. Katherine had a gentle manner and wonderful sense of humor; she will be missed by many.
Katherine was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her daughter Glenda Vee Ruckman, nine sisters, and one brother. Katherine is survived by her daughter Wanda (Metty) Wilson of Riverton, sisters Alvira Sturlin of Buffalo, Burnell Johnston and wife Mae of Jackson, Reva Dell Boyer of Victor, Idaho, grandchildren Franklin Nick Wilson, Kathy Wilson, Laura Leseberg and husband Bob, Charles Wilson and wife Yvette all of Riverton, Wade and wife Diana Wilson of Litchfield Park, Arizona, and Kristin Stitz and husband Brad of Shawnee, Kansas, great-grandchildren Christina, Cherice, Brandon, Nick and Gavin Wilson, numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Help for Health Hospice Home, 1240 College View Drive, Riverton, WY 82501; http://www.helpforhealthhospice.org/