Thomas N. Foster


Thomas N. Foster, 74, of Miami, Arizona, passed away June 19, 2024 at Haven Health Globe. He was born Jan. 18, 1950 in Oceanside, Orange County, California, to Thomas N. Foster Sr. and Ruth May Doty Foster. Tom attended Oceanside schools and graduated from Oceanside High School in 1968. In 1971, after attending community college, he moved to Tempe, where he attended Arizona State University.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Art. He taught in the Prescott school district for a year or so before going to work for Sharlot Hall Museum. He accepted a job in cleaning the mining equipment out of the Harquahala Mine in western Arizona. He also did research for various groups and individuals, which took him all over the world, particularly Great Britain. His love of guns and ammunition resulted in his being an expert in historic armaments. Along the way, he met Karen and Ray Webb, and when they moved to Miami, Arizona, Tom eventually followed them. He helped restore the locking mechanisms for the 1910 Jail in Globe, and made a ton of friends along the way. In 2010, he became the first executive director for the budding Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum, and poured his heart and soul into its development. He was active in community groups such as the Globe-Miami Chamber of Commerce, Globe-Miami Community Concert Series, Municipal Property Corporation for the Town of Miami (president), Globe-Miami Habitat for Humanity and Cobre Valley Center for the Arts, and was appointed by the Arizona Governor to the Arizona Historical Society (AHS) Governing Board. In 2016, he was presented with the Kip Culver Award by the Globe-Miami Chamber of Commerce, and in 2021 the AHS presented him with the very prestigious Al Merito Award. In May of this year, he was presented with the May Citizen of the Month award from the Citizens for a Better Community. He was also active in the statewide Arizona Historical Society, joining as a public committee member in 2001, a board member in 2013, and in 2015, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey appointed him to the governing board.

Tom is survived by cousins Nancy Winetrout in Maine and Liz Nuskin in Ohio, by his adopted families, the Webbs and Kesslers of Miami, Az., and by many friends here and around the world who were family to him.

A candlelight vigil in his memory was held on Friday, June 28, at Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum in Miami. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Thomas N. Foster Memorial Fund, Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum, P.O. Box 786, Miami, AZ 85539.