In tribute: Homemaker remembered for spirit, determination

Courtesy photo Arnetta Foster died Oct. 4, 2009 at age 85.

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Her soft, welcoming voice, kind generous spirit, determination and attention to detail are but some of the things her family remembers about Arnetta Foster.

Foster, 85, died Oct. 4, 2009, in Clovis.

She was the matriarch of the family, a homemaker and the one who cared for everyone, her granddaughter Cindy Bryant said.

And she extended that caring to the community.

“On the holidays she always invited other people to come and share the holidays with us. She always had an open door policy,” Bryant said.

“Some holidays, I remember there were even some people there that I knew to be homeless.”

Pearl Bryant said her mother took in family members during rough times and raised several of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She would bring homeless people to her table to share the family’s meals and have the neighborhood children in for pie and tea cakes.

“She was in a wheel chair and that didn’t bother her from trying to help… she was just a good person and we would just wonder how she would do all that,” Pearl Bryant said.

“They all would call her Grandma Netta.”

Foster was a preacher’s daughter, who migrated from Wortham, Texas with her husband and parents in the 1940’s as the family of share croppers followed the work.

They made Clovis their home.

Her husband died in 2007.

Confined to a wheel chair for most of her life, Foster made the best of it, still managing to get around the house and cook “huge meals” for the family,” Cindy Bryant said.

Her cooking was outstanding, and her sweet potato pies were unrivaled, Bryant said,

“I just don’t think there’s anybody that could compare with her on that,” she said with a laugh.

But more so, it was her strong Christian values and attention to detail that stand out in Bryant’s mind.

She said she can still hear her grandmother’s voice telling her, “pay attention Cindy and you’ll get it right the first time,” a lesson that has led into her own efforts to be meticulous and strive for attention to detail.

R.L. Smith, pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, remembers Foster as a mother figure to everyone.

Foster attended his church for years until her health prevented her from making it to services.

“She was wonderful a really beautiful person,” he said.

“She was just a good person any way you take it.”