Foster’s legacy lives on through those marching in his footsteps
A local icon and a Texas marching band legend passed away earlier this month, leaving behind a legacy of music and leadership that will forever be hard to equal.
Longtime educator and band instructor Don Foster, 78, of De Kalb, Texas died Sunday, November 4, 2018.
Foster was also a community leader in DeKalb, earning a Heart of the Community Award, better known as the Noble, in 2010.
He was a graduate of Stephen F. Austin University, where his grandson Foster also excelled in band, a longtime band director at De Kalb High School, an electrician, and a member of First Baptist Church in De Kalb, Texas.
In the speech that preceded the presentation of his Noble Award, DeKalb City Judge Joni Haldeman illustrated in great detail the award winning and community minded life of Foster.
She stated, “The Noble is presented to those that have dedicated their life to the betterment of this community. They are considered contributors to the solid foundation that we build upon.” Foster definitely fit that bill.
Haldeman continued by saying, “Our Noble Heart was introduced to what would one day be his avocation in the 5th grade and he was introduced to a musical instrument, a sousaphone. His love of music and dedication to the craft took him where none had been before, he was the first tuba player in Hughes Springs history to make the All Region Band.”
From there, Foster’s love and dedication to music took him to Stephen F. Austin and the Lumberjack Band. He graduated in 1962, and continued his love for music and marching bands as an educator.
Foster directed the Mighty De Kalb High School Marching Bear Band (and he is responsible for that little diddy)… to 15 Sweepstakes band trophies and taught at De Kalb ISD for a total of 17 years….
He was well known for inspiring his students to reach beyond the normal expectations and challenging the young to achieve greatness not just in their music, but in their lives and their service to others. Just like he did.
He was a man of many personas ……teacher, director, electrician, magician, entertainer, dreamer and friend and he devoted so much of his life to nurturing the talents and the spirits of our young and to soothing the souls of the rest of us with his songs.
It has been estimated that through his music, he has influenced 800 to 1000 students, not to mention his audiences, and 25 or more of his students followed in his footsteps as music majors and band directors.
The day that Mr. Foster left this world may not have been the day the music died, but it definitely fell silent for a few minutes to honor someone who gave so much back to it, and to his students.