University Letter

UND's faculty and staff newsletter

Keith Foster remembered

Keith Foster, died peacefully on April 4, at Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center.

Keith was born August 21, 1924, in Mandan, N.D., to Fay and Alfreda (Farr) Foster and was raised in Dickinson. He attended the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and Marquette University of Medicine in Milwaukee, Wis., where he met his wife, Dorothy Geach. They were married in Hurley, Wis. in 1947. They had five children.

Keith completed residencies in internal medicine in Detroit, Mich. and Seattle, Wash. From 1943 to 1946, he served in the US Army. He served in the U.S.A.F. as assistant chief of Medicine at Wright Patterson Air Force Base Hospital in Dayton, Ohio from 1951-53. In 1953, Keith moved his young family back to Dickinson where he was in private practice at the Rodgers-Gumper Clinic. In 1970, he moved to Bismarck and practiced at the Q & R Clinic. In 1974, Keith was appointed professor and assistant dean at the North Dakota School of Medicine where he was instrumental in taking the medical school from a 2 to 4 year program. Keith was a compassionate teacher and mentor to many future physicians.

He was Medical Director of the Heartview Foundation from 1979-89 and from 1991-93. Keith was a pioneer in treating alcoholism as a disease. He furthered his understanding of alcoholism as a Bush Clinical Fellow at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland and the Royal Free Hospital in London, England from 1985-86. In 1986, he became the first North Dakota physician to be American board certified in addiction medicine.
Keith is survived by his loving wife, Dorothy, of 62 years; sons, Mike (Marilee), Bob (Linda); Dan (Myra); and daughter, Sue Glasser (Ray); 16 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; one brother, Bill Foster (Kay); and sister, Sally May (Tom).
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Mary Jean Hendrickson; and his daughter, Kathleen Jane.
Keith’s greatest legacy is his family. He will be remembered for his wisdom, sense of humor, kind supportive personality, and his devotion to his family, students and patients.

Memorials may be given to either the God’s Child Project or the Epilepsy Foundation, in memory of his daughter, Jane.