Barbara K Foust 1924 - 2011

My mother died last week.  I had the good fortune to sit with her a few hours before she passed. Barbara Kingston Foust of Pittston, Maine, died on April 20, 2011 at Maine General Nursing and Rehab at Glenridge.

She was born on November 16, 1924 to William Frank Kingston and Louise Anne Schucholz Kingston in Melrose, Massachusetts.

She graduated from Russell Sage College in Albany, New York with a degree in nursing.

She and her husband, Earnest Foust, bought a 73-acre farm in Pennsylvania in 1956 and set about raising children, sheep, horses, dogs, cats, quail and the occasional orphaned raccoon.

Her interest in herb gardening led to a chapter she wrote for the book The Rodale Herb Book for Rodale Press.

Referred to sometimes as ‘the woman who dyes at the festival,’ she presented for many years at the Kutztown Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Festival, demonstrating how to work with vegetable dyes and spinning wool.  She worked with wool in a variety of forms such as dying, knitting, and weaving.  For many years she imported spinning wheels from Scotland and sold dyeing, weaving and spinning supplies.

Her interest in healing led to her becoming a Reiki Master and a dowser.  She supported and trained many people in the healing arts.


She is survived by her husband, Earnie Foust, four children, Virginia Louise Mutti and husband Larry, William Foust and wife Linda, Jonathan Foust and wife, Tara Brach, Matthew Foust and wife, Karen, grandchildren Laurel Mutti Patwardhan, Johanna Mutti, Matthew Foust, Jason Foust, David Foust, Sarah Foust, Hannah Foust, Allison Foust and great-grandchildren Molly Foust and Ryan Foust.

She liked to tell a story about a time when she was a little girl in elementary school.  A solemn old man came one day and all the children lined up to shake his hand.  He explained that he, as a civil war veteran, had once shaken hands with a veteran from the Revolutionary War, and they now, as children were only one hand shake away from the birth of the nation.  If you’ve been touched by Barbara you were probably touched not only by her kindness, but a sense of timelessness.


Earnie is well and living in Pittston, Maine with Matthew, Karen, Sarah, Hannah, Alison, Reuben the dog, Ellie the cat and their goldfish, who has gone through a number of name-changes and who's name is currently up for debate.

His contact information is below:

Earnie Foust 580 Wiscasset Road, Apt 1 Pittston, ME 04345-5312 207-582-8615