Kenneth Leon Foster
Kenneth Leon Foster, 84 of Rector, Ark., passed away on November 11, 2017, at his home with his loving family by his side. He was born on April 19, 1933, to the late Marvin and Ruth (Edwards) Foster in the Clay County area. His father passed away while Kenneth was very young, and his mother married Troy Pruett who stepped in to love and raise the family.
In 1951 he married Laura Russell, and the couple moved to St. Louis where he worked in the shipyards. In 1953 he enlisted in the Army and served his country as a corporal stationed in Germany until 1955. Later they came back to the Rector area and owned and operated a grocery store at Leonard serving the community, the gin and local school from the late 50ís to the early 60ís.
He then began his career in law enforcement as a Rector police officer in the early 1960ís and became chief in 1965. When he began there was no formal training or education required. He became the police chief in 1965. In 1969, Kenneth was appointed to an advisory/consultant position with the Criminal Procedure Institute School of Law at the University of Arkansas. He served in that position for two years and was influential in compiling the first book ever published to help organize Arkansas law enforcement procedures. Law enforcement had gone from no requirements to having a very professional standard officers must comply with. He retired after a 30 year career serving his town. He also spent part of that time serving as a volunteer firefighter, being a Clay County Deputy and was a member of the Arkansas Chief of Police Association. Retirement gave him more time to spend and devote to his life, and a long passion for fishing. He was well known for his ability to catch catfish. He also enjoyed gardening and spending time with his great grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, Kenneth was preceded in death by his wife, Laura Foster; a grandson, Jarrod Leach; his brothers, Delbert Foster and Jimmy Pruett; and his sisters, Jeanetta Keller and Mary Nell Bell.
He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Judy and Glenn Leach of Rector; a son, Kenny Foster of Rector; a granddaughter, Laura and Heath Wilburn and great grandchildren, Rylee Wilburn, Remi Wilburn and Hunter Wilburn; brothers, Adell Foster of Rector and Charles Pruett of Texas along with numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
Visitation will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the Irby Funeral Home in Rector. The service will begin at 2 p.m. with Brother Kenny Burns officiating. Interment will be in the Woodland Heights Cemetery.
Those who wish may sign the condolence book at www.irbyfuneral home.com