In Celebration of

Donald Harry Foster

September 21, 1934 -  June 27, 2023

On the evening of Tuesday, June 27, 2023 in his 89th year, Don died after a period of declining health and a few days in palliative care at Toronto Western Hospital. Cherished father of Mary Lou (David) and Peter. Beloved grandfather of Sarah and Rachel (Reid). Son of the late Golding and Elwood Foster and brother of the late Shirley (Joe). A friend and extended family member of many. Fondly remembered by Joan.

Don came to Toronto in the 1950s from Shelburne to train and work as a funeral director. In 1969 he founded the Funeral Service Education Program at Humber College and was a pioneer and educator in a holistic approach to funeral education and to palliative care, especially within the hospice movement.

A stalwart for decades at Windermere United Church, Don was a lifelong Rotarian, barbershop singer, and train enthusiast. Skilled and imaginative, Don built, repaired, and created in many forms, including the family cottage at Gull Lake, a place he loved. He was a committed volunteer not only with Rotary International, but any time he saw a need and an opportunity. In 2012, his service was recognized with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Friends may call at the Turner & Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor St W., on Tuesday, July 4, 2023 from 5-8 p.m. Don’s Funeral will be held at Runnymede United Church, 432 Runnymede Rd, Toronto, on Wednesday, July 5, 2023 at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow. Don will be interred along with his parents at the Shelburne Cemetery. For those who wish, donations may be made to Rotary International or Sleeping Children Around the World.

My life flows on in endless song, above earth’s lamentation. How can I keep from singing?


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Nadia Murchison (Through Mary Lou)

Entered June 28, 2023 from Toronto

I will always remember and cherish an impromptu lunch at Egg Sunrise Grill in the best company of Don and Mary Lou. I will remember the sparkle in Don's eyes and the love and humour he and Mary Lou shared.

Margaret (Friend)

Entered June 28, 2023 from Toronto

I have had the honour and privilege of knowing Don for the last few years. He became a good friend. I shall truly miss his presence in my life. Godspeed, Don.

Jana Lovie (Niece)

Entered June 28, 2023 from Dryden

So sad to hear of Don’s passing. I have so many fond memories of him and family times. The summer I spent at the cottage as a teen learning how to waterski with Don’s help and patience will always be memorable for me. My condolences to Mary Lou and family and Peter. Sending hugs and much love.

Donna Carl (Friend)

Entered June 28, 2023 from Whitby

Dear Mary Lou,

I am thinking of you and your family and sending my condolences. I know you have many wonderful memories of times spent with your father and they will sustain you.

Donna Carl

John Bobaljik (Former Student)

Entered June 29, 2023 from Windsor

A great role model…a humble, patient instructor. Received my FD license in 79’. Hard to fathom how time can get away…I believe I speak for many Humber Grads, as we remember Don, as one of the “Good Guys”. R.I.P. 🙏❤️


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