Dr. Harold Fred Foerster
Dr. Harold Fred Foerster, 93, of Huntsville, Texas passed away on October 19, 2019 at home.
Dr. Foerster was born on November 26, 1925 in Freyburg, Texas, to Frederick Wilhelm Foerster and Hertha (Meyer) Foerster. He grew up in the German-speaking farming community of Swiss Alp, where he helped on the family farm and attended Abbotts Grove School, a two-room schoolhouse, through the eighth grade. The teacher ensured the students learned and spoke English while at school.
Though he had never been out of Fayette County, in 1945 at the age of 19 his country called. Harold was drafted into our United States Army, attended basic training and was shipped off to Japan to serve in WWII. This was quite an eye opening experience for a young Texas farm boy. He honorably served his country for two years and upon completion of his service he went back to farming in Fayette County with his family.
Two years after his return, he made the decision to move the family to Houston, Texas. While working for Sears he met a young Lutheran pastor who saw his thirst for knowledge and suggested he attend Texas Lutheran College (TLC) in Seguin, Texas. With little financial support from his family, and having never actually attended high school - because of his military service and the GI Bill - TLC accepted him on a probationary status. Though college was challenging, he studied hard and worked during the summers and was able to complete his Bachelor's Degree in four years.
Upon graduation, he taught at Schreiner Institute in Kerrville for two years, and in the summer of 1956 he married Charlene Wehe. He was accepted into graduate school at the University of Texas in Austin where he completed both his Masters and Doctorate degrees in Microbiology. Harold was living proof of the adage, "hard work always pays off."
During that time, Harold and Charlene had three beautiful daughters: Cynthia Louise, Rebecca Charlene, and Melissa Faye. After completing his doctorate he was the professor of Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology for over 40 years at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX. During his tenure at SHSU he taught thousands of students, many who went on to have successful careers in medical, educational and scientific fields. He was an inspiration to his students and a model for his peers.
Harold was a notable researcher. He performed extensive research on bacterial endospores, with his findings being published in several peer reviewed scientific journals. Harold never lost his love of farming nor his interest in growing spores. His gorgeous yard was full of huge blooming azaleas he nurtured from cuttings, as well as his abundant vegetable gardens both in his backyard and at the acreage in Edge, TX. He did not like weeds though, and spent many hours ensuring their demise. He enjoyed harvesting wild dewberries, mustang grapes and elderberries for his homemade wine.
Harold's love of travel, hiking, and camping took Charlene and his girls on many summer adventures throughout North America. This sense of adventure now lives on in his grandchildren.
Harold and Charlene have been active members of Faith Lutheran Church for over 50 years. Harold was a truly committed, but humble servant of God in all aspects of his life. He had an incredible work ethic and expected that from others, especially his students and family.
He is preceded in death by his parents Fred and Hertha, his siblings Pearl Winter, Roy Foerster, Myrtle Oeding, and Ivill Cook.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 63 years, Charlene Foerster, three daughters Cindi Tolmsoff and husband Dale, Becky Blanchard and David Brand, Melissa Garcia and husband Greg. He adored and was so proud of his eight grandchildren Shawn Tolmsoff, David Sills, Kendra Tolmsoff Morgan, Mike Blanchard, Cullen Tolmsoff, Alex Garcia, Nick Blanchard and Emily Garcia. His three great grandchildren Bryce, Anderson and Elliot will know, love and admire "PawPaw" through all the many stories that will be shared.
His family would like to thank the numerous friends and church members who have helped in the past few months with prayers and support. Special thanks to STAT Home Healthcare and the home care team of Pat Oliphant. Pat's amazing group of professional and devoted ladies ensured Harold could live at home until his death. In lieu of flowers, any contributions you wish to make should be directed to the Harold and Charlene Wehe Foerster Scholarship at Texas Lutheran University, Seguin, Texas, or to the Harold Foerster Biology Scholarship at SHSU or to the Faith Lutheran Church School.
Visitation will be held at Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home, 1700 Normal Park, Huntsville, TX 77340 on Friday, October 25, 2019 from 5-7 PM. Funeral Service will be held at Faith Lutheran Church, 111 Sumac Rd, Huntsville, TX 77340 at 10 AM Saturday, October 26, 2019, to be followed by a lunch in the Gym before traveling to United Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, 2100-2224 FM 3171, Schulenburg, TX 78956 at 3 PM. Condolences to the family may be made at www.shmfh.com
Published on October 22, 2019


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Pamela Olson
Oct 31, 2019
He was my biology professor at SHSU and he was a great teacher.
Cox Robert Crider
Oct 24, 2019
I had 2 graduate courses under Dr. Foerster. He allowed me to take Microbial Physiology, although I had never had Microbiology as an undergraduate, but he did not cut me any slack in class. I liked his teaching style so I Also took his Virology class! He was both feared (he was a stickler in the classroom) and admired by his students!
Will NoaK
Oct 22, 2019
Charlene and family,
My message comes straight from the depths my heart. Thanks for all the beautiful memories. They will live forever.
May he rest in peace.