Dr. Rodney Noah Foster made his entrance into this world to Elisha and Clara Foster on February 23, 1940 while residing in Cleveland, Ohio. Rodney was the second oldest of six siblings, Gwen Riley, Natalie Lockwood, Linda Roberson, Cornell Foster and Stacey Long.
Rodney received his formal education in the Cleveland Public School system and graduated from Glenville High School in 1959. Rodney met Patricia Ann Carter in 1958. These high school sweethearts would go on to marry on June 25, 1966. Their union brought forth two children, Angela Denise Foster and Rodney Joseph Foster. They were married for 15 years.
During his years at Glenville he was a tackle for the Glenville Mighty Tarblooders' football team. Rodney's football talent was recognized by Cleveland Press as he was chosen as a Presstar in 1958. Rodney was recruited by Bo Schembechler (Assistant Coach) to play football for The Ohio State University. He was an offensive guard under the leadership of Head Coach Woody Hayes. Woody Hayes had a very special relationship with Rodney. Coach Woody called Rodney, "one of (the) finest blocking guards in college football". Woody was so proud of the fact that Rodney was a pre-dentistry honor student and a student athlete on scholarship. Woody Hayes would frequently have Rodney on his Sunday football show talking about the importance of being a strong academic student while being a student athlete. During his college football career, the team won the Big Ten Title and National Championship in 1961. He was also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Rodney graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1964. Rodney was drafted in the 10th round to the Washington Redskins. Rodney's desire was to be a dentist so he applied to The Ohio State University School of Dentistry. During this period there weren't many African Americans getting accepted into the OSU School of Dentistry. He was on a waitlist that contained 150 students. Woody Hayes utilized his influence to get him off the waitlist and into the School of Dentistry. Rodney left professional football to attend dental school. As he put himself through dental school, Woody Hayes utilized Rod as a coach for the OSU freshman linemen. In addition, he worked as a security guard at a boys' home in Columbus. He graduated from The Ohio State University School of Dentistry in 1969 as a Doctor of Dental Surgery. Rodney often stated that attending dental school was the best decision he could have made at the time.
Rodney's dentistry career began in Cleveland, Ohio in 1969 when he joined a practice with two other dentist. He remained at this practice for 5 years. Rodney opened his first private practice in 1974 on East 131st and Miles. He practiced Dentistry for 52 years. Rodney had a special gift of making people feel comfortable. His infectious laugh and his stories eased his patients' fear of dental work. He especially loved working with children. One of his patients referred to him as Mr. Wonderful.
In 1981 Rodney met Wanda Steele and married in 1983. Their union brought forth a beautiful daughter, Lauren Ashley Foster. They were married for 18 years. Rodney started attending Pentecostal Church of Christ in 1983 and was baptized in 1984. Rodney was on fire for the Lord. He grew spiritually and was an example for his family of the importance of prayer, scripture memorization and studying the Word of God. He was an avid reader. He was involved in leadership as a Deacon. Rodney was also a member and leader at Zion Pentecostal Church of Christ (Deacon and choir member) and Mt Zion Fellowship. Rodney had a gift of teaching and prayer, which he utilized at the churches he attended. Rodney joined his current church home, New Spirit Revival Center in 1995. He has faithfully served in numerous roles with the last role being an Elder. Rodney had a gift for gardening that he utilized every year to beautify the front of New Spirit Revival Center.
On Monday, March 8, 2021, the Lord called our beloved Dr. Rodney N Foster home.
Whether you called him, Rodney, Dr. Foster, Mr. Foster, Elder Foster, Rod, Big Rod, Uncle Rod, Dad, Daddy, Paw Paw and many more, you knew him as a wonderful man of God above all else. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him as he leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter and fond memories of a well lived life. It is our prayer that his strength, his caring, patience, and love will be remembered for generations.
Rodney's parents, Elisha & Clara; fathers-in-law, Joseph L. Carter and Larnie Steele; mother-in-law, Elizabeth Carter; half-sister, Gwen Riley; brother-in-law, Barry Steele; sister-in-law, Dianne Griggs; uncle, Elijah Foster preceded him in death
He leaves to cherish his memory: two daughters, Angela Denise Wilcoxson (Jerome) and Lauren Hodrick (Michael); son, Rodney Joseph Foster; son-in-law, Claude Carson (Tammi); brothers, Cornell Foster and Stacey Long; sisters, Natalie Lockwood and Linda Roberson; mother-in-law, Rebecca Steele; brothers-in-law, Joseph R. Carter and Cedric Steele (Laurel); sister-in-law, Angela Steele-Thompson (Adrian); two grandsons, Christopher Carson and Lenoxx Hodrick; four granddaughters, Janai Wilcoxson, Jamira Wilcoxson, Monica Carson and Lohgan Hodrick; and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives as well as many special and treasured friends.
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