Remembering father and best friend “Dan the Man”

WHITE CITY, Ore.– People across the Rogue Valley are still coming to grips with a tragic weekend locally. Several lives lost in two horrible crashes.

Two of those lives were lost when the motorcycle Daniel Foster and Catherine Hock were riding was hit by a teenager who police say was driving intoxicated.

On Wednesday, three of Foster’s children shared stories about the life of a person who they considered not only to be their father but their best friend.

Sarah, Sean and Jonathan all drove up from California once they heard the news in order to be with their family and support each other in this time of tragedy. During little over an hour NBC5 News spent with them, story after story about Foster came tumbling out.

According to his kids, Foster, who was 60 years old, always had the spark of a child. It wasn’t until he got married that Foster looked to be slowing down. Jonathan, who is Sarah and Sean’s step-sibling, remembers how Foster sold his Harley Davidson and bought a minivan for the family he was about to start.

“I never looked at him as my step-dad,” said Jonathan. He shared how he sat down with Foster one day and thanked him for being his dad and being there for him while he was growing up.

Still, having a family and kids to take care of never stopped Foster from enjoying life and being the childish, fun-loving person his kids adored.

Sean remembered how the two of them would sit on the sidewalk and eat ice cream together. He described vividly the mountainous two scoops of Rocky Road and pecan praline his father would always get and then just devour in front of him.

“I like ice cream just as much as the next guy,” he said. “But he’s on the curb and he’s just devouring this ice cream cone. The guy liked ice cream just as much as a six-year-old likes ice cream.”

They all shared a laugh as those fond memories kept coming back. Foster, left an impact on all of them and to many others who crossed paths with him. With a bubbly energy that brightened their lives, Foster’s kids believe it was infectious for everyone else as well.

“He would leave an impression on anyone just by meeting them for one second,” said Sarah. “He was the funniest, kind-hearted… he was a kid. He was just a big kid.”

Courtesy: Sarah Keefer

Sarah, who just married four months ago, says that was the last time they were all together including their fourth sibling, Jason, who many hadn’t seen for awhile. She says it couldn’t have been a more beautiful moment for their family and she was glad that they were able to spend that time together.

“Live life and enjoy the people you’re with because you don’t know if you’re not going to see that person the next day,” she said, holding back the tears. “I didn’t know that was gonna be my last trip with my dad – ever. You gotta live in the now.”

As they consoled each other, we asked them how they could best summarize their father. Sarah, with a smile, said, “Dan The Man,” a nickname they’ve always had for him.

Sean and Jonathan couldn’t agree more but added that a poem by Hunter S. Thompson fully encapsulated who Foster was:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

– Hunter S. Thompson

The three are still working on preparations for their father’s funeral. A date hasn’t been set up yet but as they come and go these next few weeks and the rest of their lives, they want to live how he lived.

“If he could say anything lasting to us or anybody in the world,” said Jonathan. “It would be, enjoy your life, don’t take it for granted.”

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