Hope S Foster

August 1, 1927October 22, 2018

Hope Foster (1927-2018)

Cumberland- Hope Shain Foster, born August 1, 1927 in Biddeford, Maine, died peacefully at home in Cumberland, at age 91, October 22, 2018, surrounded by her family. Hope and her husband of 67 years, Herbert S. Foster, Jr., have lived in the same home in Cumberland, since soon after they married on June 16, 1951. She is survived by her husband, Herb, and their children, Stan and his wife Betty, Steven and his wife Donna, Wendy Russell and her husband Dennis, Don and his wife Joanna, Suzanne Kennedy and her husband Mike, thirteen grandchildren, fourteen great grandchildren, and a large extended family. She is also survived by her sisters, Debbie Towns (St. Louis) and Sandra DeLuca (Windham), and brother, Rodney Shain (Sanford). She was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Ethel Shain, her sister Nelda and brother Stanley. Hope graduated from Hallowell High School, and earned a BS degree in 1949 from Gorham State Teacher's College. She arrived in Cumberland in 1950, to teach thirty-seven first and second graders in a one-room brick schoolhouse with a pot-bellied woodstove and a two-hole outhouse. One of eight one-room schoolhouses in the district at the time, the former school is now home to the Cumberland Historical Society, which is among many civic organizations in which Hope Foster served as an active leader. As a teacher, substitute teacher, and teacher's aide up until her 90th year, she helped educate four generations of students. She was active in the Cumberland Congregational Church for 65 years, leading kitchen crews for Easter sunrise service breakfasts, among many other events. Always active in facilitating learning, she led Cub Scout, Girl Scout, Brownie and 4-H groups. Throughout the years, she served as president of the Lioness Club, Cumberland Historical Society and Ladies Auxiliary of the Fire Department. She served as a volunteer on Cumberland's Recycling Committee and transcribed historical journal manuscripts in the collection of the Prince Memorial Library. For over two decades she served as a docent at the Cumberland County Fair Farm Museum, baking apple pies and biscuits on a wood cook stove while greeting visitors. Hope Foster most enjoyed her teaching, social engagement and volunteer service activities. She was a booster and number one fan of the Greely girls' basketball team and they have dedicated their 2018-19 season to Hope Foster. The family wishes to thank Jessica and Southern Maine Hospice. Visitation will be held from 5-8 pm on Friday, October 26, 2018 at the Cumberland Congregational Church, 282 Main St. Cumberland, ME. A celebration of her life will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at Cumberland Congregational Church, followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Prince Memorial Library or Firefighters for Kids, c/o the Cumberland Fire Department Please visit to sign Hope’s online guest book.


  • Visitation Friday, October 26, 2018
  • Memorial Service Saturday, October 27, 2018

Hope S Foster

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Sharon Tardiff

October 27, 2018

Such fond memories growing up with Hope and her family. Loved going to her home after school with her daughter Wendy. Always felt very loved by Hope. Warm and gentle hugs to the family. Memories...sweet memories.

George and Carolyn Small

October 26, 2018

Hope was such a dedicated and hard working citizen of the Town of Cumberland. She will be missed by many organizations, and the people of the town.
George and Carolyn Small

Margot Milliken

October 25, 2018

Hope welcomed our family to Blanchard Road in 1985, and for the next 30 years was a warm and steady presence across the street. She was always up for a cup of tea and conversation, curious about what was happening in our lives, in Cumberland, and in the wider world. Hope was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, and a woman who gave generously to her neighbors and community.
We send our condolences to Herb, Don, Joanna, Adam, Kevin and the rest of the family.
Margot and Roger Milliken

Dotty Spaulding

October 25, 2018

There are no adequate words to express the sadness in losing a friend of so many years except to say thank you for all those years, for all the conversations, the many cups of tea, and for being there. I will miss you. God speed. Dotty

Jay Webb

October 24, 2018

I will miss seeing my friend every week when you would come into Shaw's to shop . You always put a smile on my face. My heart goes out to your husband and family . Rest in peace my friend.

Michelle Eastman

October 24, 2018

I feel blessed having the opportunity to meet and talk with Hope throughout the years! She was an amazing caring and loving person! She touched so many lives with her smile! My last memory was at one of granddaughters graduation, I was amazed by how kids just migrated to her and how much she enjoyed reading to them and teaching. She always made everyone smile! My prayers go out to the family! God bless!!

Christina Johnson

October 24, 2018

Have fond memories of Hope and the Church fair. She wasn't a fan of the lobster stew lunch but she came on board. She made a wonderful stew. Chris

Heather Barbour

October 24, 2018

Sue, Mike and girls- I am so very sorry for your loss. Reading about everything she did and how many lives she touched over the years is heartwarming. What an amazing lady. Just remember she might be gone from this earth but she'll live forever in the heart and memories.
Love always, Heather, Aaron and family.

Debby Frye

October 23, 2018

Cumberland has sadly lost a true “staple” from Cumberland. Hope always had kind words and was always there to offer a helping hand for all her Blanchard Road neighbors. She raised a large beautiful family and always had a hot meal on the table each night. Hope was one of the best substitute teachers some of us ever had. Our family’s condolences to Herb and family. You all were so fortunate to have been nurtured and taken care of so well!

The Frye Family

Laurie Driscoll

October 23, 2018

She was a nice wine she will be missed by her great family and friends. God bless you Hope God gained another Angel to soon. Love Vera Driscoll an her daughter Laurie.