Ralph Nelson Foster, 97, of Fort Walton Beach, went to his heavenly home on Monday, September 4th, 2017. Born in Cleveland, Ohio on November 7th, 1919, he graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a degree in Metallurgy. Upon graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Army Corp in January 1945 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant at Mather Field, Sacramento, CA. He bypassed mandatory tactical training and was sent into combat as a Bomber Navigator in the South Pacific Theatre. He flew on a B-26 and later B-25s and B-24s. He served at Reid River Air Field, Townsville, Queensland, Australia and Dobadura, Nadzab and Port Moresby, Papua, New Guinea advancing as the Japanese were pushed back. After surviving the maximum number of missions allowed he returned home. Back in Cleveland, OH, he worked as a metallurgist at Cleveland Welding where the famous Roadmaster Bicycles were made. It was there that he met his future wife Regina “Alabama” Boros, a native of Elberta, Alabama. After their marriage they moved south to Panama City, FL and then later to Fort Walton Beach where they settled. Ralph made a career as a Mathematician at Eglin AFB where he worked until his retirement. Ralph and Regina were active members of St. Mary Catholic Church for over 64 years where he attended Mass every morning until the end. At home he enjoyed helping in the kitchen with baking and catering affairs, growing a garden every year, swimming in the Gulf, working crossword puzzles and telling stories. He could entertain for hours with war stories and childhood memories, all detailed with names, dates, places. He is preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Regina B. Foster. He is survived by son Richard Foster (Cindy), Tampa, Florida; daughter Regina Payne (Tom) Mooresville, NC; grandchildren Thorin Foster, David Payne and Regina Payne. Special thanks to the staff at Westwood Nursing and Rehabilitation and Emerald Coast Hospice. Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:00 AM September 20, 2017 at St. Mary Catholic Church, FWB, FL. Burial will follow Mass at Prince of Peace Catholic Cemetery, Elberta, AL. Donations may be made to Saint Mary Catholic School, FWB, FL.
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