Remembering Beverly Foster

A Great Friend of PXE International
MAY 13, 2010

Beverly Foster

A dear and founding supporter of PXE International, Beverly (Fulton) Foster of Needham, MA, died on February 3, 2010. Beverly was the beloved wife of Leon Foster, mother of Vicki Hoffman of Issaquah, WA and Steven of Norfolk, grandmother of Ashley, Kyle, Stephanie and Andrew, and sister of Jack Fulton of Bedford and Robert Fulton of Framingham. A funeral service was held on Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 1:00 pm at Eaton Funeral Home in Needham, MA, with a visiting hour held prior to the service.   In memory of Beverly, donations may be made to the Beverly Foster Memorial Fund, PXE International, 4301 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 404, Washington, DC, 20008-2369. Or donate online. At donation purpose, select Beverly Foster Memorial Fund.

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I lost a great friend
By Sharon Terry

It is very hard to write these memories, because I write about losing a great friend – to myself, my family and our organization. Beverly Foster passed away on 3 February 2010 of cancer. I first met Beverly and her husband Leon, at a meeting with Wendy Wood Hubbard and others in New England. This first meeting, in 1995, formed the core of the then newly minted PXE International. From that first meeting on, Bev and Leon opened their homes, and hearts and lives to us. We saw Bev´s ability to cheerfully face legal blindness, various family illnesses and other life challenges with fortitude and compassion.

Bev and Leon rolled up their sleeves and pitched right in helping in the early years of PXE International. They helped up organize the New England area folks, and generously offered a sumptuous barbeque as an anchor for a summer PXE meeting. Leon took on all of the printed material distribution for the world, keeping multiple copies of all of our bulletins and brochures in their Needham, MA home. He, with Bev´s help, did all of the mailings into the 21st century, until the internet supplanted information distribution.

Bev made our lives beautiful. She grew the gardens that other friends describe below, she was always cheery and she was always there to lend a hand. She even shared her family with us, working with her daughter, Vicki, to organize a PXE International meeting in Washington State. I remember we ate well there too!

An organization is only as wonderful as its lifeblood – its members. Beverly Foster helped to birth PXE International and her beautiful spirit continues to remind us of what it means to be generous and hospitable. We mourn her loss, and are grateful for the blessings she gave us.

With love,

Sharon Terry

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A Tribute to Beverly Foster
By Laura Carchia

In the early 1990s the diagnosis of my PXE brought Beverly and I together. It was a time when little was known and available about this condition. We first spoke on the telephone, and were elated to share fears and information about the challenges we were facing. After a few more conversations, we learned of another person with PXE, Wendy Wood Hubbard, living in Rhode Island. Beverly, Wendy and I arranged to meet, along with husbands Leon Foster and Gordon Hubbard. That first meeting was delightful. It was followed by others and soon a warm friendship developed.

Some time later, Wendy connected with a couple living in Massachusetts. They were Sharon and Patrick Terry, whose two young children had PXE. All the Terrys were invited to a meeting of our small group. The Terrys had an ambitious vision. They offered their leadership towards the formation of a larger, formal organization that would help more people with PXE. This group would increase PXE information sharing and promote research.

We were all inspired by the Terry´s enthusiasm, energy, and know-how. All signed on. Beverly became a pioneer member of the future PXE International. We were on our way!

Beneath Beverly´s smiling, friendly way, was an energized battery. She and her husband Leon brought together at their home a slowly growing number of PXE people. Each person located was a found treasure. When they came and stayed with the group it was an exhilarating time. The small group became a larger one and eventually became the association, PXE International.

In this exciting journey, Beverly and Leon were always there. They hosted  barbeques, made phone calls, maintained the growing PXE literature file and assisted the indomitable Terrys at fundraisers and at whatever needed to be done.

Beverly could do everything. Despite her limited vision, she baked and did carpentry work. She grew a garden of great beauty. Cuttings from this garden were offered to all. She gave generously of her time and talents to several support groups for the visually impaired. No one, in her view, was so limited or handicapped that they could not enjoy something. Taste the brownie. Smell the flower. Or just chat!

Beverly was a loving, deeply caring woman. Her family, her friends, her neighbors and her community meant everything to her. Beverly gave to them the greatest gift – herself. 

Thank you Beverly for all that you gave to us. We cherish you and the shared memories forever.

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A Tribute to my very dear friend Beverly Foster
By Wendy Wood Hubbard

Beverly Foster was a very special person who lived in Needham, Massachusetts. If it weren´t for PXE, I would have never met Beverly. We first met on the telephone, almost 20 years ago. She needed to talk to someone else with PXE, and Bev did love to talk! Our friendship blossomed, just like the beautiful gardens she meticulously maintained. Despite being legally blind, she was a woman of great accomplishments and was an incredible lady.

Beverly was very creative. She had created gardens full of mystery and enjoyment. She shared so many of her perennials with me and told me exactly where each came from. Great memories of her mom were shared not only by me, but anyone who enjoyed gardening. We in turn will always think of Beverly when admiring our “friendship” garden. She always made it sound so easy. If I had any questions, she always had time to answer them.

Beverly´s garage was not only filled with gardening tools, but lots of woodworking equipment as well. She made cabinets for her dining room and recreation room. She had a table saw to help her cut the wood. She did all the painting and finish up work also.

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Bev is one of my heroes
By JoAnn Defrancesco

I have been a friend of Leon and Bev from my first day with PXE International. Bev is one of my heroes and she always will be. Bev taught me that legal blindness does not mean that I have to wither without hobbies and activities to fill my time. I will always be inspired by Bev - her kindness, her sense of humor and her unending sense of PEACE and happiness.

My prayers go out to Leon and family.

Leon - please know that my heart is with you, my friend, and my home is always open for you to visit.

With love and respect,