Veronica Alice Foster, 105: Independent and determined

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PEAKS ISLAND — Veronica Alice Foster, 105, died April 23 at St. Joseph’s Manor in Portland.

She was born in London on June 11, 1906, the youngest of five children born to James and Alice Jennings Foster. She attended school in England and was sent to France in her teens to learn the language.

She lived in England throughout WWI and WWII and was trained to operate a “comptometer,” an early version of the calculator. She worked at Worthing Town Hall, where she supervised the billing department – when she wasn’t on air raid duty. She often looked back on those times as the best in her life.

After WWII, Foster moved to the U.S. and became a citizen. She first lived in New York City, but later moved to New Hampshire where she trained for and had a radio show for a number of years. She also lived in Florida and worked as a housekeeper for parish priests.

Foster moved to Peaks Island almost 50 years ago and lived there independently until she turned 100. She worked at Portland Glass for a number of years before retiring.

She was an avid gardener and many people became her friends after stopping to admire her gardens. Visitors were offered a cup of tea, some English biscuits and a story or two about her life in England. She entertained countless visitors with tales from her childhood years or of life during World War I and a trip to Lourdes in France. Her life experiences shaped her into an independent, determined and focused person.

Foster was a great lover of animals; many dogs and cats were her companions through the years. She kept a bowl by the side of the road for thirsty dogs, couldn’t stand to see any animal go hungry and often took in stray cats that needed help.

She was a longtime communicant of St. Christopher’s Church on Peaks Island.

Foster was married to William L. Foster, who predeceased her. She has no known survivors.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to The Preble Street Resource Center, St. Vincent’s Soup Kitchen, Boys’ Town in Nebraska, Friends of Feral Felines or The Cleo Fund.

Her friends would like to thank the staff of St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation and Residence for the wonderful care she received while in residence.

Funeral services took place on April 25 at Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State St., Portland. Burial took place at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland.