RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Berntza (Bitzy) E. Williams Foster died June 2, 2004, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The daughter of D. Walter and Berntza Olsen Williams, she was born in Ilwaco on Oct. 5, 1912, on her great grandfather, Isaac Whealdon's birthday. Her paternal grandparents were L.D. and Eliza Whealdon Williams. Her maternal grandparents were Captain Bernt and Ann Elizabeth Kahrs Olsen.
Mrs. Foster attended Ilwaco schools graduating from IHS in May 1930. She continued to attend reunions there until 2003. In 1930 she went to Charles Walker Business College in Portland. After graduation she worked in many capacities, one of which she enjoyed was as secretary to Senator Fred Norman both in Olympia and Washington, D.C. She also worked for the Ilwaco Oyster Company for many years.
She enlisted in the WAVES in 1943 and was sent to Hunter College in New York, then Iowa where she did her basic training. Her service was done at Mare Island in San Francisco Bay. She was a Yeoman 2nd class, and she was honorably discharged in March 1946.
In 1948 she flew to Istanbul, Turkey, to marry Albert Foster who had just completed his first two-year contract with Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) in Saudi Arabia. They resided in Dhahran where they had two children, Diane and John. Part of that time Mr. Foster was loaned to King Ibn Saud to be his purchasing agent, so they lived in Riyadh. Mrs. Foster was one of two American women there. Every two years they returned to the Northwest traveling around the world. On alternate years they had "local" leaves so traveled to Ceylon, Africa, Fiji, New Zealand, etc.
In 1960 their daughter, Diane, was very ill with asthma which necessitated Mrs. Foster and the children spending the winter months in Austria until Mr. Foster finished his contract with ARAMCO. They then came to Portland and settled in Irvington. They lived in La Habra, Calif., built a second home in Idyllwild on Mt. Jacinto, and purchased a condominium in Rancho Mirage where they ultimately retired. She was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution, League of Women Voters, and a Boy Scout Den mother in La Habra.
She is survived by her daughter, Diane, and husband, Dan Savage, of Telluride, Colo.; and her son, John, and his wife, Kimberley, of Cos Cob, Conn.; grandchildren, Christian, Kathryn, and Steven Savage, and Kent, Bryon and Samantha Foster; and sister, Virginia Jones Beaverton, Ore. Mrs. Foster was preceded in death by her husband in 1997 and her brother, Bronk Williams, who died in 1971. Her sister, Virginia Jones lives in Beaverton, Oregon.
Remembrances may be made to the American Lung Association.