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Point Reyes Light
Point Reyes, Marin Co., CA
September 12, 2002

Civic activist Dan Foster of Pt. Reyes dies at 90

By Ivan Gale

Longtime Point Reyes Station resident Daniel V. Foster, a leader in the creation of affordable housing for seniors in West Marin, died Friday in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was 90.

Together with his wife Monica, Mr. Foster was a co-founder and original board member for Walnut Place, Point Reyes Station’s affordable senior housing and an organizer of the owner-built housing project nextdoor.

A man of many causes, Mr. Foster was also a founding member of the West Marin Health Education Project and volunteered for more than 10 years at the West Marin Volunteer Center. He also volunteered as a senior legal aid.

Mr. Foster was born in Philadelphia in 1912 and attended school there, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania.

During the Great Depression, the Fosters met at work where they sat side-by-side at the Department of Public Assistance in Philadelphia, working as social workers. They married in 1940.

In Navy during war

During World War II, Mr. Foster was in charge of a gun crew in the Navy, transporting ammunition. After the war, he spent most of his career as an investigator with the Department of Labor.

After retirement, the Fosters moved from Pennsylvania to California in the mid-1970s to escape East Coast winters. Once in West Marin, the two contributed countless hours of community service.

Both Mr. Foster and his wife were members of the League of Women Voters, and meetings of the local chapter were held in a building in the Fosters’ backyard – on a site that flooded when Papermill Creek periodically overflowed.

Mr. Foster also served a term on the Marin County Grand Jury and was a member and past chairman of the Rothwell Roundtable, a gathering of West Marin men who met regularly to explore national and international, as well as local, issues.

Honored by merchants

In recognition of all their efforts, the couple was honored as Distinguished Citizens of the year by the Point Reyes Business Association in 1992.

"The Fosters were wonderful neighbors for more than 25 years," Jan Langdon, who lived next to them on the levee road, wrote The Light Wednesday. "They always had time to visit when I stopped by unannounced. ‘Come in, come in. Who is it?’ was Dan’s usual greeting.

"He had an exceptional memory for quoting poems, puns and people, usually to make a funny point. He was ever ready to be helpful, with his great reserve of social consciousness, for good advice, as well as practical help in our neighborhood emergencies during several years of floods."

Inverness resident Kay Holbrook, who met the Fosters when they first moved to West Marin, recollected Mr. Foster, "He was a wonderful man who had a great sense of humor and a sense of the ridiculous."

Married over 60 years

The couple, who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last year in Point Reyes Station, were united in their causes, which greatly strengthened their relationship, they told The Light at the time.

"Dan and Monica made a remarkable couple who had the essential ingredients that make long-term partnerships wonderfully successful. I miss them both very much," said Langdon.

Added Point Reyes Station resident Carolyn Johnson, "They were very much together in what they were moving and shaking."

When not rallying to a liberal cause, Mr. Foster and his wife enjoyed the beauty of Tomales Bay and were active in local hiking groups.

Lived along creek

Longtime friend Jack Salter, formerly of Inverness, noted they were quick to take advantage of the boating and swimming opportunities that were literally in their backyard. "They lived in a home on the levee road for many years and were flooded out several times. When the creek was less aggressive, they canoed and swam in it since it was right at their backdoor," remembered Salter. Mr. Foster could often be seen walking his little dog Willie along the levee road, Salter said.

The two were also dedicated Bridge players, sometimes flying down to Southern California to participate in tournaments.

Two months, ago, the couple because of failing health moved to Reading, Pennsylvania, to be closer to their daughter, Julia Nazimov.


Mr. Foster is survived by his wife, Monica of Reading; his daughter Julia Nazimov of Reading; his son and daughter-in-law Anthony and Vickie Foster of Bloomington, Minnesota; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at his daughter’s home on Oct. 4. Messages can be sent to the family by mail or via e-mail and will be placed in a scrapbook for the service. Letters should be addressed to Mrs. Harold Nazimov, 3901 Kline Ave., Redding, PA 19606, or e-mailed to <>. The family can also be reached at 610 779-6168.

The family has suggested that any memorial contributions be made to the Community Land Trust Association of West Marin.

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