Oniel David Foster was born on April 18, 1939 in Roseau, MN to Clarence and Margaret (Lueck) Foster. He lived with his family in Duxby, MN and for a short while in Wisconsin. Oniel moved back to Duxby and attended Roseau High School. When he was 16 yrs old he moved to Scoby, Montanta and worked for two seasons on a ranch. In 1957 he joined the US Army. During his time with the Army he was stationed in Germany as a guard at the Czechoslovakian border. He was honorably discharged in 1964. Upon his return to Minnesota from the Army, Oniel worked in various fields – pulp and logging at the Northwest Angle, Midland Service Station and doing carpentry work for himself and others. In 1964 Oniel married Wanda Windsnes and they were married until 1993. They had four children – Evan, Sheryl, Jody and Jeremy. From 1964 to 1970 Oniel worked for Baumgartner Farms and lived south of Roseau with his family. In 1970 Oniel and his family moved to rural Badger where he has resided until his death. He began working at Northrup King in 1970, which is now Norfarm Seeds and worked there until shortly before his death. Oniel always had a very strong work ethic.
During the time when Oniel worked in Scoby, Montanta is when he purchased his first violin from the Sears & Robuck catalog for $35. This began his talented, self-taught art of fiddle playing. His fiddling gift took him far and wide competing in countless contests, winning the Minnesota State Fiddle Championship. Oniel’s playing has warmed the hearts of countless listeners throughout the years. Oniel was part of and very instrumental in the North Country Old Time Band which performed for many different functions – church suppers, church worship, anniversary parties, nursing homes and the county fair to name a few.
Oniel had a love of wildlife. He loved to fish, hunt and trap and enjoyed this with his brothers, sons, nephews and grandchildren. He had a trap line for many years at his land at Duxby as well as the Wildlife Game Refuge north of Badger. He also enjoyed cutting trees for lumber and operating his sawmill.
Oniel was an active member of Roselund Church. He was always very helpful and put others before himself. He was very proud of his children and grandchildren.
Oniel valued his many treasured relatives and friends and a yearly tradition was a gathering on the 4th of July at his home. This event was always well attended and there was always an abundance of food, fun and music.
Oniel is survived by his four children – Evan (Lori) of Badger, MN, Sheryl (Mark) Larson of Bullhead Cityl AZ, Jody Foster of Columbia Heights, MN and Jeremy (Brandi) Foster of Sauk Rapids, MN. He is survived by his 11 grandchildren, Heather, Amber (Dylan), Jesse, Brandon, Alyssa, Amy, Allison, Gage, Ivy, Jed and Maggie and one great granddaughter, Hayden Jo. He is survived by his brother George (Sonia) Foster of Badger, MN, brother Leslie (Marlys) Foster of Warroad, MN and sister Roseanne Lee of Badger, MN.
He is also survived by his very dear and special friend, Linda Lee of Embarrass, MN and her children Mitchell (Elaine) Lee of Hibbing and Charlene (John) Meinzer of Virginia, MN. Linda’s grandchildren Kevin, Melissa (Steve), Heather (Chad), Derek (Marjia), Scott and Andrew and great granddaughters Grace and Livia.
Oniel was proceeded in death by his parents: Margaret and Clarence Foster, brother Donald Foster and granddaughter Kristie Roseen Foster.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, June 22nd at 10:30 AM at Moe Lutheran Church in Roseau. Visitation will be on Thursday from 5-7 with a 7:00 prayer service at Helgeson Funeral Home in Roseau. Interment will be at the Badger City Cemetery. Military rites by the Roseau Memorial Honor Guard