SARA FRANCES FOSTER

Posted on May 01, 2013 - 02:11 PM

Born: May 24, 1930

Died: March 14, 2013

Age: 82 years

She was a vivacious woman who loved the outdoors and had a great sense of adventure. She had a beautiful thirst for life and living. She was prone to breaking out in song and loved music and playing the piano. She was committed to the success of her children. She was a lifelong learner and collected degrees. A Bachelor’s and Master’s in Physical Therapy, another Master’s in Counseling. It was never enough. Still she wanted to learn more. And she did.

She was born in Mathews, Va., to Wilber Clayton Foster and Lucy Golda Foster in the middle of the Depression. She grew up in Mathews where her father and his brother, Edgar Allen Foster, opened Foster’s Department Store. Her father dedicated the third story as a roller-skating rink for the children of Mathews. She left to attend William and Mary College after graduating from high school. During college, she met and married Roy Stribling Cornwell, a Navy pilot who would become a Commander. Sara worked as a Physical Therapist. Eventually, they had four children: Allie Anne (Scott), Roy Stribling Cornwell Jr., Karen Foster Cornwell, and David Lee Cornwell. The Navy allowed them to live in a variety places including New Jersey, Florida, Virginia, and several locations in California. They settled in Pleasanton, Cal., where Sara was active in the Presbyterian Church and a variety of civic organizations including leading a Girl Scout troop.

Sara opened her own Physical Therapy Practice in Livermore as her children became more self-sufficient. In her practice she helped many adults recover from injuries and loved working with children, including those fighting the ravaging effects of polio and other diseases.

Sara divorced and lived with her children in several locations in California, until the death of her mother took her back to Mathews, Va., for a year. After this she moved to Selma, Ala., and became the head of the Physical Therapy Department at the hospital. While working in Selma, she gave back to the community by refurbishing wheelchairs for those who could not afford them. She remained in Selma for many years, finally retiring to her dream home overlooking the water in Florida. She spent her final years battling memory disease, living near her daughter in North Carolina.

Her memorial service will be held in Mathews, Va., on May 14, 2013 at 10 a.m. at Foster-Faulkner Funeral Home; immediately following will be the interment at H.C. Smither Cemetery. An informal reception will be held after the memorial service.

Please join us to celebrate her fabulous life. Her children and grandchildren would love to hear your memories of her.