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Lee Esther Foster was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi on March 14, 1922.
She was the only child of Bennie A. & Emma Bell Higgins. They both preceded her in death.
Lee Esther accepted Christ as a young child and was baptized into the Christian faith at a small country church, Easter Star M. B. Church in Cameta, Mississippi. She enjoyed telling anyone who would listen about her conversion experience. She was the first to “take the chair”; that is the decision to acknowledge her personal relationship with Christ after being on the ‘Mourners Bench” and pleading with the Lord for forgiveness of sins.
Lee Esther attended grammar school in a small community church school where one teacher taught all 8 grades. Upon completing grammar school she moved to Hollandale, MS and attended Simmons High School.
She enjoyed growing up on the farm with her many cousins and extended family that included not only her parents, but her grandparents and great grandfather. As a child she learned entrepreneurship from her Grandfather who made molasses from sugar cane from all the families in the area by having a mule pull a pole and squeeze the juice out of the sugar cane to make fresh syrup.
She married Virgil Barber in 1944. Together they raised their two daughters, E. Lynne and Eugenia. As a mother, she was a strict and loving disciplinarian.
In 1956 she moved to Argo-Summit, Illinois to be near her parents and for better opportunities for her daughters. Immediately they joined Antioch Missionary Baptist Church where they could continue their Christian service.
Later in life, after working as a clerk at Kresge 5 & 10 in Oak Park, a factory worker at Standard Coil in Melrose Park and a checker at Jewel in River Forest she decided to get her GED at age 57 and go to Business College to learn shorthand and typing because she felt the Lord leading her to write a book on tithing. She wanted to do her own typing, get her own copywrite and self- publish, which she did. Her book entitled MY TITHING EXPERIENCES AND BIBLE OBSERVATIONS was published in 1985 and has blessed many who read it.
She was working as a secretary for the Chicago Public Library when at 59 ½ she met and married Deacon James Foster who was a widower at her church, Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church. They enjoyed 16 years of a wonderful autumn marriage doing mission work and serving the Lord at Mt. Olive M. B. Church before he went home to be with the Lord. Their marriage added daughters and a son. One daughter, Queen Foster is still with us and Mother Foster dearly loved her as her own daughter.
After the death of her husband, Deacon James Foster she moved back to Argo-Summit to care for her aging parents and immediately rejoined Antioch where she continued to serve the Lord. After a few years she relocated to Oak Park and joined Broadview Missionary Baptist Church on March 11, 2015 to be near her daughters.
Mother Lee Esther Foster was a believer, an avid reader of everything from Nietzsche to the Apocrypha, an excellent student, farmer, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great grandmother, teacher, missionary, bible scholar, author, amateur photographer, extended family care giver, secretary and prayer warrior.
She was fiercely independent. She gave her daughters specific instructions about her aging. She stated emphatically that she did not want to live with them, but to live independently in her own little apartment which she enjoyed. Her daughters were to get her adequate help, when she needed it and come and visit her often. She stated that it had nothing to do with love. She said I know you love me, but I don’t want you to change your life plans for me. There are people who know caregiving and that is their job…they have to work, too And, she further gave instructions that when she got past that level of care to find a good nursing home for her and visit her there. She was our mother and we knew we must follow instructions. Her wisdom was always right.
Mother Foster was blessed to know seven (7) generations of her family: great grandfather Clark, Grandparents Charlie & Mary Eliza Clark, Parents, Bennie & Emma Higgins, Children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren and great-greatgrandchildren.
She leaves to cherish her memories, her daughters, Eugenia L. Curry of Broadview, E. Lynne Johnson of Maywood, and Queen Foster of Chicago; her grandsons, Eugene Curry, Christopher Curry, Michael Johnson & Eric Johnson, 4 great- granddaughters, 1 great great-grand daughter and 1 great great- grandson; also a host of cousins and other relatives and friends as well as wonderful caregivers, Janel Johnson-Sanders, Carlean Nicholson and Ella Geater.
To God be the Glory!!!
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