Thomas M. Foster
(Art Teacher from Staley Junior High School)  
  April 1, 1934 - January 2, 2008 


Thomas M. Foster, 73, of 118 Urbandale Parkway, Rome, died on Wednesday, January 2, 2008, at his home with friends at his side. He was born on April 1, 1934, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, the son of Paul and Bessie Reed Foster.

If you, your parents or your children attended Staley Junior High School, chances are very good Tom Foster was your art teacher. If you have attended a performance at the Rome Community Theater, chances are very good that Tom Foster sold you a ticket at the box office and that his name appeared on the production program in at least one major category. Tom Foster was a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art with postgraduate study in theater and art education at Syracuse University and The State University of New York College at Oswego. Tom's first teaching assignment was at the West Springfield, Massachusetts Junior High School where he taught art for one year in 1956. He then taught the army something about art as he served Uncle Sam from 1957 to 1959 in NATO.

Following his service career, Tom came to Rome and started a very long tenure as an art teacher at Staley Junior High from 1959 to 1989. During that time, he was named Outstanding Young Educator by the Rome Jaycees. He also received The Saul Lazovik Service to the Arts Award and was honored by the City of Rome for his contribution to the arts. When he retired from Staley, the Board of Education honored him by naming the school auditorium Foster Hall. During his years at Staley, Tom also taught a ninth grade class in theater and served as Director of the Staley Music Theater for more than twenty-five years.

It was sometime in the early 1960s that Tom first volunteered at Rome Community Theater. He recalled his first assignment was helping to design and build a stage set. Since that time, he has been involved in just about every aspect of theatrical production both on and off stage. In recent seasons, he directed "Meet Me in St. Louis", "Little Me", "State Fair", "Babes in Toyland", "Follies","Tapestry", "The Pied Piper", "Silk Stockings", "The Floating Princess", and "The Shoemaker and the Elves".. In addition to directing, Tom served as costume designer, consulting director, set designer, scenic painter, and producer for well over one hundred RCT productions. Additionally, Tom used his many talents to direct and produce several benefit performances for the Capitol Theatre, the Rome United Way, and the Rome Heart Fund. Tom served as a member of the Rome Community Theater's board of directors and was elected board president on seven separate occasions. He was the recipient of numerous Henry Awards. Henry Awards are given each year for outstanding production and acting accomplishments. Continuing his service to the arts and to Rome, Tom organized and served as director for the Voices of Rome. He also served as a volunteer in many capacities at the Rome Art and Community Center, the Rome Art Association, and the Capitol Theatre.

Surviving are his sister, Betty R. Foster, of Great Barrington, MA; an adopted grandson, Michael Carbone, Newark, DE; several nieces, nephews and many close friends who will always hold him dear. Tom was predeceased by a brother, Paul W. Foster in June 1996.

In keeping with Tom's wishes, private services will be held at the convenience of the family. Interment will take place in Elmwood Cemetery in Great Barrington, MA. Contributions in Tom's memory may be made to the charity of one's choice. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Nunn and Harper Funeral Home, Inc., 418 N. George St., Rome.

Services: In keeping with Tom's wishes, private services will be held at the convenience of the family. Interment will take place in Elmwood Cemetery in Great Barrington, MA. Contributions in Tom's memory may be made to the charity of one's choice. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Nunn and Harper Funeral Home, Inc., 418 N. George St., Rome.






















































background music - "staircase, part3" - Keith Jarret



t


















This site is Rome Cyber Reunion 1970-2070, All Rights Reserved.