Joe Claiborne Foster – Obituary

By  | October 12, 2017 | Filed under: Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home, Obituaries

Joe Claiborne Foster, 91, retired former owner and President of Foster Insurance Agency, died Wednesday, October 11, 2017, at his residence on Manor Road.

Funeral services will be conducted Saturday at 2:00 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home with Rev. Bob Vassar and Judge Bobby Sands officiating. Burial will follow in Polk Memorial Gardens with military honors provided by Herbert Griffin American Legion Post 19. The family will visit with friends Friday from 4:00 – 7:00 P.M. concluding with a Masonic Service at 7:00 P.M. at the funeral home.

The family suggests memorials to the 40 & 8 Nurses Training Program, Voiture Nationale La Societe Des 40 Hommes Et 8 Chevaux, 1394 Voiture Locale, P. O. Box 152, Columbia, TN 38402. Condolences may be offered online at

Born January 7, 1926 in Culleoka, Tennessee, Mr. Foster was the son of the late George Wesley Foster and Ruth Holt Foster. On April 7, 1947 he married the former Wyllodean Parker who preceded him in death on June 16, 1986. On September 16, 1986, he married Mayon Derryberry Pfieffer who also preceded him in death on July 30, 2004.

Mr. Foster was a graduate of Culleoka High School and Columbia Business College. Entering the U. S. Navy on September 20, 1943 during World War II, he received his basic training in San Diego and received postal training to operate a Post Office. He was stationed in California, Guam, Ulithi, and Okinawa before being discharged on April 8, 1946 with the rank of Mailman/First Class. A life member of American Legion Post 19, he joined in 1946 and served as commander in 1955. Also a life member of Forty and Eight Voiture Locale 1394, he joined in 1953, served as Chef de Gare, Grand Chef de Gare, and Cheminot Nationale in 1968. He joined the VFW in 1946 and became a life member in 1976.

Mr. Foster was a life member and Master Mason of Columbia Lodge #31 F. and A.M. and served as Worshipful Master in 1956. He was very active in Masonic activities on the local level, as well as state and national levels, including exalted a Royal Arch mason in Lafayette Chapter #4 R.A.M. and served as Excellent High Priest in 1958 and admitted and consecrated a companion of the Holy Order of High Priesthood. He served as Most Excellent Grand High Priest for state of Tennessee in 1969. He was greeted a Royal and Select Master in Nashville Council #1, transferred to Lawrenceburg Council #130 and served as Illustrious Master in 1971. He was anointed and crowned in the Order of Silver Trowel in March 1971 and transferred to Columbia Council when it was chartered June 2000. He was knighted in DePayens Commandery #11 K.T. in November 1957 and served as commander in 1960 and 1961 and is a life member. Having served as Commander, he was installed as a Crusader of The Cross and became a plural member in Columbia Commandery #35 in June 2000. Mr. Foster received 32-degree Scottish Rite in Valley of Nashville in November 1972. He constituted a Noble of the Mystic Shrine in Al Menah Temple Nashville and was past president of Maury County Shrine Club. He was knighted a Knight of York Grand Cross of Honor in April 1972 and knighted Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest in December 1972. He was one of only thirty-three members in Tennessee at the time to serve as Very Eminent Preceptor in 1982. Other recognitions include constituted Red Cross of Constantine, served as Sovereign in Old Hickory Conclave, received the Royal Order of Scotland, York Rite College of America, Middle Tennessee Past Masters Association, Hillbilly Degree, Tall Cedars of Lebanon, Yellow Dog Degree, Masonic Societas Rosicruciana, Knight Masons, Allied Masonic Degrees, and received the Order of Eastern Star in Columbia Chapter #287.

Very active in community affairs he was past president of Columbia Maury County Chamber of Commerce, past president of Maury County Memorial Association, past president of Maury County Insurance Exchange on three different occasions; member of Maury County Gun Club, member of Columbia Elks Lodge #686, Member of National Knife Collectors Association, Columbia Kiwanis Club, and served as President of Insurors of Tennessee in 1978. He was a lifetime member of the NRA. Mr. Foster was a charter member of Northside Baptist Church and was currently a member of Pleasant Heights Baptist Church.

Survivors include two daughters, Anita Jo Foster and Pamela Lynn (Roger) Brown, both of Columbia; sister, Martha Ruth Luster of Columbia; and step-children, Jimmy (Carrie) Pfieffer, Robert Pfieffer, Joe Pfieffer, Michael (Sisse) Pfieffer, and Teresa McClure; grandchildren, Kris Hardison, Andrea (Todd) Williams, Roger Dale Brown, Jr., J. Heath (Renee) Brown; great grandchildren, Chase Vuncannon, Austin Parr, Hunter Williams; several step-grandchildren and step great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by two sisters, Frances Freeland and Reba Hobbs; three brothers, Everette Holt Foster, Kenneth Davis Foster, and Albert Wesley Foster.

Pallbearers will include past commanders of American Legion Post 19. Honorary pallbearers will include past and present members of American Legion Post 19, Columbia Lodge 31 F. & A.M., Columbia Kiwanis Club, Dr. Robert Wilhite, Shelby Carpenter, and David Wise.

The family would like to express a thank you to Dr. Thomas Dake, Dr. Gibran Naddy, staff of Avalon Hospice and a special thank you to his caregiver, Melissa White.

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