Cover photo for Benjamin "Bo" Robert Foster's Obituary
Benjamin "Bo" Robert Foster Profile Photo
1934 Bo 2023

Benjamin "Bo" Robert Foster

April 22, 1934 — September 4, 2023

Harvard, Massachusetts

Benjamin Robert Foster, “Bo”, age 89, died peacefully on Labor Day, September 4, 2023 with his wife and children by his side. Bo is survived by his devoted wife of 67 years, Mary Alice Foster (McLellan).

Bo met Mary Alice when they were 12 years old, after diving into some rocks while on a canoe trip at Camp Wabun in Temagami, Ontario. While Bo was recovering at base camp with stiches in his forehead, Mary Alice, the daughter of a camp director, brought him comic books to read to pass the time. This was the beginning of a 77-year love affair and a 67-year marriage.

Bo attended Germantown Academy, Yale University (chemical engineering) and Wharton Business School. Later he went to Duke Law School where he received a Master of Laws (private adjudication). He worked for many years in business consulting and finance. In his early career Bo’s work brought his family to Paris, France and Hamburg, Germany for four years. This was a formative time, fondly remembered by his family, including transatlantic crossings by ship, epic train rides, skiing in the Alps, and vacations in Spain.

Bo loved his home in Shaker Village in Harvard Massachusetts, where he built a farm which had as many as 20 sheep, 4 horses, 4 steer, 4 pigs, a cow, and a prized Suffolk Ram named Big Ben. Bo also enjoyed spending winter months in Florida with Mary Alice for many years. These trips began with extended spring vacations to visit grandparents and 28-hour rides in a retrofitted Volkswagen bus, complete with a sleeping platform for the family of 8. Bo especially loved his summers spent at Garden Island on Lake Temagami in Ontario, Canada. There he and his children constructed two cottages, adjacent to and overlooking the cottage and lake where Mary Alice spent her summers as a child.

Bo was quick-witted and delighted in gently teasing his kids, in-laws, family, nurses, caretakers, and friends. He was a kind, fun, clever, and warm grandfather to his many loving grandchildren. His children loved his patient, thoughtful and non-judgmental advice over the years. He was their biggest fan. Most of all Bo loved Mary Alice.

In addition to his wife, Bo is survived by his children Michael, Christopher, Jeffrey, Timothy, Julie Nocka and Amy Paul; 17 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters Patsy Hutchinson, Judy Schmerge, and Deborah Demarco and is predeceased by his sister Virginia Jackson and brother Bruce. Family reunions grew to over 100 relations, spanning 4 generations. Bo delighted in these events.

Services for Bo will be private.


In lieu of flowers, donations in Bo’s honor can be made to:

The Mary Alice McLellan Foster Fund at the Red Canoe Foundation
96 Bay State Rd., Boston, MA 02215

Proceeds generated will be used to support scholarships and to sustain Camp Wabun, a wilderness canoe tripping camp that Bo loved.

Parkinson's Foundation
1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018

Arrangements under the care of Badger Funeral Home, A Life Celebration Home, Groton. To share a memory or offer a condolence visit:


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