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Earnest "Earnie" Foust

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E. Earnest "Earnie" Foust, died on June 4, 2014, in Whitehall, Pa., at the age of 89. He was a professor of English at Kutztown University, and active in a variety of initiatives to create a more peaceful world.

Born in Montoursville, Pa., Earnie was a son of the late Earl and Arlie Foust. He served in World War II, and as a member of a rifle company was wounded twice, once on the Anzio beachhead in Italy, site of some of the fiercest fighting of the war, and again when his assault boat was sunk crossing the Rhine in the invasion of Germany. At the end of the war, he was stationed in Dachau just after the liberation of the concentration camp. Of the 20 men with whom he joined his company, he was the sole survivor at the end of the war.

His experience in the European theater dramatically altered his life by allowing him to pursue higher education and inspiring him as an activist for progressive causes and as a proponent of peace.

Through the GI Bill, he earned his bachelor of arts degree in English at Lock Haven State College in Pennsylvania and his master's at the University of Iowa. He met his wife, Barbara, while in college, and they settled on a 73-acre farm while he taught at Kutztown University. As a professor of English for 31 years, he also served for many years as ombudsman. He developed a course called "The Literature of Peace" which is still being taught.

Earnie and Barbara joined the Reading Friends Meeting (Quakers). He was active in the meeting and when they retired to Maine, they were among the founders of the Quaker meeting in Damariscotta.

Renowned for his kind nature and sparkling wit, he will be missed by many.

He is survived by his four children, Virginia Louise Mutti and husband Larry, William Foust and wife Linda, Jonathan Foust and wife, Tara Brach, and Matthew Foust and wife, Karen; grandchildren Laurel Mutti and her husband, Kaustubh Patwardhan, and Johanna Mutti and her partner, Curtis Rockwell; grandchildren Matthew Foust and wife Lori, Jason Foust and fiancee Jackie Einfeldt, David Foust, Sarah Foust, Hannah Foust, and Allison Foust; and great-grandchildren Molly Foust, Ryan Foust and Sailor Rose Foust.

A memorial service will be held in the fall. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Long Funeral Home, Bethlehem, Pa. Online condolences can be placed at

Published in Kennebec Journal on June 8, 2014
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