William J. Foster
William J. Foster, SJ
William J. Foster

Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of our brother, Br. William J. Foster, SJ who died on September 2, 2017, at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 87 years old. May he rest in peace.

Born in Omaha, NE on July 2, 1929, Bill's schooling was interrupted because of struggles with poor health in his youth. He completed primary school and some years of technical training in Omaha before entering the Society at St. Stanislaus Seminary, Florissant, Missouri on March 4, 1956. After pronouncing his first vows as a Jesuit brother on March 7, 1958, he spent several years on the staff of the Wisconsin Province Jesuit Novitiate (in Oshkosh and St. Bonifacius) and five years serving the Marquette University Jesuit Community. Bill was called to final vows on August 15, 1967, after tertianship and shortly after he was assigned to Holy Rosary Mission in Pine Ridge, SD.
Bill ministered at Holy Rosary for forty-seven years, from 1966 to 2013. He worked hard all his Jesuit life. He served both Holy Rosary Mission and the Jesuit Community in many capacities - as a plumber, electrician, locksmith, carpenter, and general maintenance worker. For fifteen years he was Holy Rosary's Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. A quiet, gentle, steady man, he remained calm no matter what emergencies arose - in a place where emergencies were common. Bill was also extremely perceptive as he surveyed the passing scene on the Pine Ridge Reservation and within the Society of Jesus. Bill won the respect and affection of generations of the Lakota students and staff he dedicated his life to serving. Many still remember him as the person who prepared the simple wooden crosses used to mark the graves of their departed relatives. He is remembered with special affection by the Jesuits with whom he lived and shared ministry. And somehow, as the years passed, Bill become a person whom others recognized as a holy man.
There are many, many Bill Foster stories, almost all of them more or less true.  
In 2013 declining health led to Bill's moving to the St. Camillus Jesuit Community, where he lived peacefully until his death.
Fr. Paulson, currently on visitation to the Holy Rosary Jesuit Community, offered the community Mass for Bill on the day he died. During the Mass, George Winzenburg eulogized Bill.
As we remember with gratitude all that God has done through Bill's life of service to God and God's people, we are reminded of our privilege and obligation to offer Masses and prayers for his eternal repose. All members of the USA Midwest Province and those applied to it are to offer one Mass intention for Bill. Members of the St. Camillus Jesuit Community will offer one additional Mass intention. All will wish to remember Bill in their prayers and Masses.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Round Chapel
St. Camillus Jesuit Community
10200 West Bluemound Road
Wauwatosa, WI  53226-4377
Funeral Mass
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
7:00 p.m.
Round Chapel
St. Camillus Jesuit Community
Burial Service
Thursday, September 7, 2017
9:30 a.m.
Mt. Olivet Cemetery
3801 West Morgan Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53221 
In Memoriam
Your name

Your email

Your comment


Jesuits Summer 2020

Jesuits Spring 2020

Jesuits Fall Winter 2019

Manresa Jesuit Retreat House
Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, located north of Detroit in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., offers retreatants a respite from the city on its 37–acre campus with almost 50,000 trees.