Patricia Forster masterfully juggled myriad activities.
The Edina resident had volunteer work, book club, bridge club, embroidery cross-stitching, dancing, piano playing, exercising at the YMCA, going to church, and she threw well-loved dinner parties for friends and family. She was a mom who indulged her children often and was fun-loving, supportive, easy to befriend and fiercely loyal.
“She was never sitting around except when she was reading,” said her daughter Julie Forster of Maple Grove.
Surrounded by family, Forster died on April 28 at her son’s Minnetonka home of Alzheimer’s complicated by COVID-19 and pneumonia. She was 83. Even in the days leading up to her death, she still managed to do a little dance in her bed when her family played jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis’ 1965 album “The ‘In’ Crowd.”
Born in north Minneapolis, Forster received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Minnesota and went on to work as an elementary school teacher in Skokie, Ill., and the Edina and Faribault public schools.
Forster volunteered with JDRF Minnesota because two of her children have Type 1 diabetes. She also served as chapter president of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and was an active member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. Despite her gradual decline from Alzheimer’s, Forster still tried to remain active, including reading to children at Countryside Elementary School, her family said. She was also a devout Catholic and loved attending mass at St. Joan of Arc Church in south Minneapolis. She also loved going to the family’s cabin in Siren, Wis., and being outside in nature, from walks to water skiing and cross-country skiing.
Forster’s daughter Teresa Burns, of Minneapolis, said that her mom “thought beyond herself.” Burns laughed thinking about her mother’s endless schedule of activities and how she stressed herself out every Christmas Eve making rosette cookies and coordinating family caroling sessions in the neighborhood. One of her favorite memories of her mother is when Forster, in her late 70s, insisted on trying to water ski on the lake like she had when she was younger. She didn’t get up, Burns said, but it was a testament to her mom’s tenacity.
“I just loved that she was game for trying,” Burns said.
In addition to Julie and Teresa, survivors include son David Forster of Minnetonka, daughter Katie Schulz of Richfield and sister Bonnie Johnson of Minneapolis.
A service for Forster will be held at a later date.