OBIT HelenFoerster

Our amazing 96 year old mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away peacefully, albeit reluctantly, on April 27, 2017. A 63-year resident of Los Altos, she embodied spirit and spunk right up until the end.

Helen Ann Tomasick was born in Hazleton, PA, the oldest of 3 sisters. She graduated from Hazleton High School at 16 years old. She worked for the Office of Dependency Benefits in Newark, New Jersey where she met the love of her life, David Foerster. They married in 1947 and moved to Iowa City, Iowa, then to Sunnyvale in 1952 and settled down in Los Altos in 1954. They had 25 happy years together until his sudden death in 1972. Helen loved Los Altos and lived the remaining years of her life in the home they built together.

Helen was part of a small group of women in Los Altos that decided they should have a Women’s Club. She co-founded the club in 1957 with 12 original members and then 32 charter members. They chose to affiliate themselves with The General Federation of Women’s Clubs, a national organization dedicated to community improvements by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer services. Within 5 years there were 236 members. Over the years Helen served as President, Program Chairman as well as many other roles. The Club helped plan and fund the Los Altos Youth Center Building that was completed in 1961 and still operates to this day.

Her spirit and strength carried over into her social life. Helen loved to cook and was part of a Gourmet Group for years. She also loved to entertain, her eyes lit up whenever friends and family came over for a dinner party. She was a member of the Stanford Golf Club for 50 years and played until she was 88. She also played a mean game of bridge until the very end, was a voracious reader and part of a Book Club for years. Even in the face of declining health she willed herself to get together for social events.

Helen’s primary passion was her family. She relished being the matriarch of her close family and as such, they feel the tremendous void she’s left. Family dinners will never be the same without her at the head of the table.

Helen leaves behind her son, Richard (Sue), her daughters, Patricia and Barbara as well as 3 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren, and sister Dorothy Farrell. She was predeceased by her husband David, and sister Ruth Burns.

Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service at 1pm on Friday, May 19th at St. William Catholic Church in Los Altos, CA. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Los Altos History Museum or the charity of your choice.

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