Nancy Jean Foster

Nancy Jean Foster (Momma Nancy) died from complications from Alzheimers on Thursday May 28, 2020. She was 78 years old. She was loved. She was admired.

Funeral services were held Monday June 1, 2020 at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church with Chad King officiating and Don McFarland assisting.

Burial followed in Childress Cemetery under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home. Visitation was held Sunday, May 31, 2020 from 8-9 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home Chapel.

Nancy Jean Moses was born in Waco on August 22, 1941 to Billey Delbert and Martha Frances (Neeley) Moses. She married Horace Ridens in October of 1961. They had three children, Shelly (1963), Rex (1967) and Ray (1969). Horace died in August of 1977 due to damaged heart valves from contracting Scarlet fever when he was a kid. She married Max Foster (Papa Max) in September of 1978 – her three children approved of Max from day one. They gained another great dad and two wonderful brothers, Mark and Mat Foster. Nancy said, “It seems like most women have trouble finding one good man. I found two. Can you believe that?” It was always her son’s opinion that good women attract good men.

Nancy was preceded in death by both parents, her sister Yvonne Oliver, her son Rex, her husband Max and her daughter Shelly. She was led to the Lord as a teenager. The Lord used her Sunday school class at First Baptist as a tremendous source of comfort, especially during the last 10 years of her life.

Nancy was an only child for over a decade, before her sisters, Yvonne and Connie, arrived. She said that, “I always felt like I was a mother instead of a sister and I know that irritated them. I really wanted to just be a sister, but you know I can’t help myself.” It became a habit for the rest of her life.

The progression would always go like this:
*I’m worried about (insert your name).
*What are they going to do?
*What can I do to help?
*What can we do to help? (This is where other family or friends get roped in.)
*And finally – Here’s what you need to do…

By the time the person she was worried about got told what to do – it could come across as bossy. But she was intelligent, strong, persistent and fearless.

Things her family grew up thinking everyone does:
*Pull into a stranger’s driveway to ask questions about their home; costs, square feet, contractors.
*Quizzing strangers about how or why they got into a certain business and how much did it cost?
*Asking anyone, anywhere, anytime if they would be willing to barter or sell for less.
*Giving the name (again to strangers) of family members she thought would be a good match for them. (She picked her son’s wife, Dondi, from a newspaper article about Childress’ new valedictorian.)
*Waving people over on the highway to ask what that strange thing in their trailer or pickup is.
*Leaving nothing unsaid – ever.
*Knock-down-drag-out fights with family and friends that end with, “Well. Now, where are we all going for lunch?”
*Christmas in February.
*Everyone opening gifts at the same time – because you all got the same thing. She would buy gifts all year for Christmas and not remember where she put them and so sometimes, you received your present in June when she deep cleaned the house.

She grew up in cotton gins. Many of the Moses family were, and continue to be, involved in the cotton industry. Her husband Horace and father Billey loved each other and worked well together. So they bought and ran cotton gins. When they both died within a year of each other, Mother and other members of the family ran the gins. She eventually sold the gins and started trading cotton, which she had been doing somewhat for years. Her office went out of business in 1997. She bumped around for two or three years working at the boll-weevil eradication program with her husband Max until she decided to go back to school to become a teacher. Momma graduated from Wayland Baptist University at the age of 60 after consistently being on the Dean’s List. She taught at the prison in Childress for 6 or 7 years and then retired.

Nancy was an avid reader of newspapers and magazines. This habit and her curious personality made for early adoption of technology and markets.

*She called the US distributor for the Sony Corporation in California about a machine that records TV shows. Although they had been making them for years, Sony finally developed an affordable home version. She was told they hadn’t set up distributorships yet, but he would call her when he did. We had a VCR in our home in 1980.
*Momma pulled over a man in Tulia that had a satellite dish on a trailer. He was just a private individual that had a friend working in telecommunications. That friend had given him the dish to watch TV. Momma bought it from him and had Max set it up in the front yard. She sold about a dozen for that man, who finally decided there might be a market for this type of thing.
*She read that the government had sold the rights to mobile phone service in our area. She called immediately and was told, “Yes. We have the rights, but we have to build towers out to your community first.” Mother called them every week for a year. They finally asked if she would sell and program the phones once they got the towers in Childress built. She negotiated a $50 per phone fee and free service for her, Max and Ray. They had free phones and service for almost 5 years.

Survivors include sister Connie Everret of Menard, Texas; son Ray and Dondi Ridens of Childress; son Mat and Kelly Foster of Childress; son Mark Foster and partner Jesse Braganza of Austin; grandchildren Jason Lawrence, Jacob Lawrence, Jayton Lawrence, Chase Foster, China Oldham, Joshua Foster, Kamille Foster, Beth Ridens, Kate Ridens and Meg Ridens along with numerous nieces, nephews and great grandchildren.

Nancy loved to laugh. It was a loud, obnoxious, cackling laugh that could never be confused with someone else’s. Nancy loved people. She wanted to talk and know everything about you and then see if there was a way she could help you. Nancy never waited. If she thought about doing something for someone, she did it today; right now.

If you’d like to send a memorial, here are some suggestions:
*Thank God for your family
*Do something nice for the caregivers at Cottage Village.
*Call an old friend or family member tonight and don’t hang up until you’ve laughed about something.
*Do it now. Do it now. Do it now.

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