Kristen Joy Foster Brooks was born in Blackfoot on Sept. 12, 1947, to Cluff and Barbara Johnson. She spent much of her childhood in Great Falls, Mont. Later she attended BYU where she received a bachelor’s degree in Business in 1970.
In 1969 she married Robert “Clyde” Foster in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. Clyde was a member of the U.S. Army, so Kristen spent many years traveling around the country and lived for several years in Germany. During these years, Kristen and Clyde were blessed with two daughters and six sons, who each brought much joy and adventure to Kristen’s life.
In 1984 tragedy struck when Clyde was killed in an accident, and Kristen was left to raise her eight young children alone. She courageously faced this challenge and eventually moved her family to Rexburg where she obtained a position working at Ricks College.
While working full time and raising her children, she went back to school, and in 1995 she earned a master’s degree in Education from Idaho State University. Education was always an important part of Kirsten’s life, in her career as well as her private life. She spent over 14 years working for Ricks College/BYU-Idaho in the Continuing Education Department, and education was something she unfailingly encouraged in her children and everyone around her.
In 1995 Kristen moved to Shelley and in late 2000 she met Terry Brooks at a singles dance. They soon fell in love, and in July 2004 they were married. Unfortunately, their happiness was tainted by illness; a few months before their marriage Kristen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Although they knew their “happily ever after” would not happen in this life, Terry exhibited true love by his willingness to support Kristen throughout her illness. He loved and cared for her for the rest of her life, and Kristen was blessed to have her “Sweetie” by her side till the end.
During her life, Kristen was a friend and “mother” to many people she came in contact with. She was a good listener who saw the good in everyone. She enjoyed traveling, the beach, music, dancing, playing with grandkids, and she was one of Neil Diamond’s biggest fans.
She was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout her life and was a pillar of faith in her family. She lived up to her name and brought “Joy” through her love and selfless service to all those she came in contact with.
Kristen passed away on Dec. 30, 2010. Her family would like to thank all those who gave time to serve and help Kristen during her illness; many small acts of love and kindness helped to ease the hardships of her illness.
Kristen is survived by her husband Terry Brooks; her three brothers Laron, Verlin, and Maclom Johnson; her sister Melissa Anderson; her children: Dawn Erickson (Pete), Mark Foster (Meg), Daniel Foster (Sally), Christopher Foster (Fay), John Foster (Shanna), Matthew Foster (Monica), David Foster (Lalove), and Becca Foster (AJ); four step-children: Kristin Brooks (Marcus), Paul Brooks, Jeremy Brooks and Eric Brooks; 15 grandchildren; and many others who considered Kirsten a mother, sister, and friend.
Funeral services for Kristen will be held in the Taylor LDS Church building in Shelley (1101 E. 1250 N.) on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011, at 11 a.m. The family will receive friends at Nalder Funeral Home (110 West Oak) in Shelley Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and at the Taylor church on Friday from 9:30 to 10:40 a.m. Interment will be in the Taylor Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Kristen’s name to the Idaho Falls Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 51055, Idaho Falls, ID 83405.
Condolences can be sent to the family at www.nalderfuneralhome.com .
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