Ralph Thomas Foster age 93, of Clearmont died Wednesday, November 29, 2023at Green House Living for Sheridan.
He was born January 3, 1930 to John and Grace (Kennedy) Foster in Sheridan, Wyoming. He grew up on a homestead on Buffalo Creek where he attended a one room school thru the 7th grade. His parents moved to a place south of Sheridan and he graduated from Sheridan High School in 1947. In 1947 he went to work for his Uncle Lawrence on the Flying U Ranch. Lawrence died in 1948 and Ralph became in charge of running the ranch.
Ralph,4 siblings and 3 cousins inherited the ranch. In 1950 he married Terrill Coop and they had four daughters. Ralph and Terri worked hard and finally owned the Flying U Ranch by 1976. Ralph learned to handle horses at a young age. There was no mechanized equipment in those days. All work, including haying and feeding cows in winter, was done with horses. When Ralph was 12 years old he sold 2 mares with colts at the Buffalo Creek Ranch Sale. He rode 10 miles to deliver one pair to the Snider Ranch and the other was hauled to the Clearmont Stockyards. After he married he continued to raise horses and then pigs, cattle and sheep.
In 1954 he received “Outstanding Young Farmer” award for Sheridan County. Ralph had been active in Sheridan County being a 4-H leader in the 60's; serving on the Clearmont School Board for 12 years; on the Fire District Board; the County Planning Committee (making 3school districts from 17) for two years; the Whitney Benefit Board for one term; and the Predator Control Board for 25 years. He was one of the original board members and helped remodel the old Garretson Store in 1974, and turned it into a Library/Claremont Community Center. Ralph served on that board for 9 years.
Ralph enjoyed playing pool around the area. He also guided deer and antelope hunters from out of state and at one time guided elk hunter sin the Big Horns with his good friend Neal Schuman. In 2019 a book with the title of Foster's Flying U Ranch was published and in 2020Ralph was inducted into the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame. Ralph lived being himself and working his land. In his mind your word was yourword and a handshake sealed the deal.
Ralph and Terri sold the Flying U Ranch in 2020, with the agreement of a life estate, to remain on the ranch he loved. Forever. His ashes will be scattered from the high ridge.
Ralphis survived by his wife Terri and daughters: Dona Foster of Hawaii,Peggy (Ira) Roadifer of Clearmont, Brenda Foster (Wendy Gabriel) of Buffalo, and Rebecca Foster (Roger Mayes) of Houston, Texas. He is also survived by his three grandchildren: Nicholas Roadifer of Buffalo, Ashley Roadifer of Goodyear, AZ and Dr. Jessika Mayes of Henderson, NV, his two great grandchildren: Tayden Roadifer of Laramie and Serenity Cherrelle Mayes-Thomas of Henderson, NV, onesister Lula Reeves of Big Horn and numerous cousins, nieces, nephew sand friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Vera and Helen, brother Keith and son-in-law Dan Wagner.
Honoring Ralph's request the family will not have a service. Please help support the Clearmont Community Center with a donation in his name.CCCF, Box 26, Clearmont, WY 82835.
Condolences may be sent to: Foster Family, 4163 US Hwy 14-16 East, Clearmont, WY 82835.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.