Memories of Thomas Foster
Tom was a great person to be around, his quiet positivity was always welcome.
Where do I even start? All I can think of is how much I’ll miss being with you and having deep philosophical conversations. I’ll miss the times we played games on your projector and how chaotic a six-person game of super smash bros. could get. I’ll miss all the dumb jokes we laughed about. I’ll miss the times we exchanged songs and headbanged to bands like Slipknot. Every time we hung out it was such a blast, and it hurts knowing those times are things of the past. I will forever miss you, my friend.
We were studying in a group together in the library, showing each other funny memes and videos and laughing. It was winter, and when we started the trek back to our dorm, we slid around on the ice that covered the pathway. Wherever you are, Thomas, I’m pointing friendly finger guns at you and saying “zoop” with a grin. Until we meet again, my friend.
Thomas was a student of mine, and several of his friends are also my students. My heart goes out to his family and friends as we process this sad and unexpected news. Thomas was whip-smart, and this especially showed in the way he crafted his papers. There was also artistry and elegance to his writing that moved me as his teacher. I am sorry that St. Lawrence and this world have lost such a thoughtful and thought-provoking young man.
Grace Huang, Government
My sincere condolences to Tom, his family, and his friends. He will be missed in this community.
Thomas ended up being a lot of things to me our first year. He was the type of person who really meant a compliment when he said it. Thomas would sing loudly and unashamed, even if he did not know the lyrics. It was rare to see him walk into Dana without headphones in. He got excited about little things, like backrest pillows and soft pants. Thomas had a quick wit and would always surprise me. He claimed to be an introvert, but I have never met someone who had his level of confidence. He would eat broccoli alongside his waffles at breakfast. During our first year, he put his hammock halfway up the tree outside Rebert. He told me that he missed the age when he could cheat at board games and his brothers wouldn’t notice. Thomas loved going to concerts and he loved the movie Akira. He would let other people use his computer to play games. He hated swimming but missed his high school swim team. He was never shy about bringing up big conversations, and I am lucky that I got to share so many memories with him.
Thomas was the type of person who cared deeply about what he loved. He would sing and whistle, unafraid to show his love for music at any point. He also loved skateboarding. I cannot count how many times he would come in frustrated on a new trick he was working on, or with a slight smile with his board in hand after finally getting a new trick. He helped teach me to skateboard, and pick out my first board. He was so kind, and would always be there for you when you needed help. I remember deep conversations with him on random subjects like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, lasting hours. He had such a deep, genuine laugh that made everyone in the room start to smile. My favorite memory of Thomas is him pushing me around on his skateboard outside Rebert East on a random Wednesday morning, laughing as we rolled over sidewalk chalk and avoided random people. You are so loved and so missed Thomas.
Although his time at SLU was short, that doesn't mean it was any less important. Thomas mattered to those who knew and cared for him. My heart breaks for his family and loved ones, the SLU campus is with you during this time. I'm grateful to have known Thomas around Rebert in my first year- he always managed to put a smile on my face when I needed it the most. You will be missed.
I met Thomas back in 2004 when he was only 2 years old. At that time, my family was living in Blacksburg, a beautiful corner of VA, and my post-doc advisor Fred Read was Thomas’ step-grandfather. Our families hung out a lot, and we enjoyed the warm hospitality, conversations, tasty dinners, and parties at Thomas’ Oma and Opa’s. Our children hung out, too and Thomas went to daycare with my younger daughter Nika. Although, I’m not sure if he liked playing with her because typically, she would grab toys that he had intended to play with. However, Thomas would just let her have it, with no complaints and no tears.
We parted our ways from Virginia but kept in touch. In 2014, we got together by his Oma and Opa in Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina. And what a week that was, the house full of kids’ laughter! Thomas and his brothers William and Jack had a great time learning how to surf on their boards, and jumping in and out of the ocean and into the hot tub. And the best part was the movie time, with the favorite (and only!) choice being Sharknado, parts 1 and 2. Thomas and others binge-watched it in the evenings, and they were laughing their heads off!
Thomas visited St. Lawrence in the fall of 2019 and soon decided to become a member of the Laurentian community. Unfortunately, his first-year and the fall-semester sophomore experience were greatly influenced by the Covid pandemic. He was just starting to learn what this place has to offer as life and classes on campus started to return to normal. I enjoyed my meetings with Thomas and chatting about his plans at SLU and beyond. Through these conversations, I learned that Thomas was very much concerned about environmental degradation. That is why he wanted to have both strong scientific and policy background to one day be prepared to take an important role in successfully addressing this issue. Accordingly, he recently declared a geology major and planned to do the same with the government. I was so happy when he signed the major declaration form that I immediately called his Opa, Fred, to tell him the geology news.
Last time I saw Thomas was last Wednesday. He and his father Ian came to my office and we discussed his plans for working on a summer project in North Carolina and continuing it here at SLU in the fall. I was much looking forward to it. Thomas will be greatly missed, and I will always remember him as a smart and intelligent young man. Farewell, Thomas. Rest in Peace.
Antun Husinec, Geology
I keep thinking he'll come back. Thomas was a sweet, hilarious, hard-working soul that I had the honor to be around. His smile was one you could never forget. I remember when we would eat brunch together and his plate would always be completely covered with a mug of bitter coffee filled to the brim. Or how terrible of a dancer he was but he never cared what people thought. But most of all, he had an essence in his soul that whenever he believed in something or someone, you could feel it too. Plus, he gave the best hugs ever. I'll never forget him, everyone who knew him won't ever forget him. Rest in peace my sweet angel, Thomas.