Saturday, July 20, 2024

Edward Lowell Foss, 90

Edward Lowell Foss (Coble Funeral & Cremation Service at Greenlawn Memorial Park)

WILMINGTON — Edward Lowell Foss, age 90, of Wilmington, North Carolina passed away on Saturday, May 18, 2024.

Ed was born on March 7, 1934 in Biddeford, Maine, the son of Richard S. and Alice L. Foss. A graduate of Biddeford High School in 1951, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict, attending both Aviation Preparatory School (ANP) in Jacksonville, Florida, and Aviation Structural Mechanic “A” School in Memphis, Tennessee before being assigned to Attack Training Squadron 301 at Cabiness Field Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas for the duration of his enlistment. After Ed was honorably discharged in 1955 he attended Portland, Maine Jr. College during 1955-1956, also completing the YMCA Scuba Certification Course. He then married Carolyn S. Cole of Saco, Maine in August 1956, and soon afterwards the newlyweds moved to River Falls, Wisconsin where Ed earned a BS Degree in Biology and Chemistry in 1959, next completing an MS Degree in Zoology at The University of New Hampshire in 1962.

While completing his MS Degree he taught at the private High Moving School in Wilton, New Hampshire, later at St. Francis College in Biddeford, Maine. While at St. Francis, with the help of student Joe McCarthy, who later became a Biology teacher at Biddeford High School, Ed designed and built a marine cold room for holding and displaying salt water marine invertebrates, a project that was endorsed by both Dr. Alton Gustavson of Bowdoin College and The Maine Department of Sea & Shore Fisheries. Ed’s next position was at SMVTI in South Portland, Maine, teaching Applied Oceanography in the Marine Technology Program from 1964 to 1968, both in the classroom and aboard the school’s training vessels, S.S Aqualab and R/V PHYKOS, returning to St. Francis College in the summers to teach the Introductory Biology course.

While at SMVTI, Ed was instrumental in developing the NSF Sea Grant Proposal which provided federal funding nationally for marine related programs. A paper he wrote on marine aquaria construction was publish by the Maine Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries, for which agency he also provided continuous water sampling and analysis data from Casco Bay.

Invited by The Smithsonian Institution in November 1967, Ed participated on a research cruise from California to New Zealand aboard the USNS Eltanin, America’s Antarctic Research Vessel, as a research assistant to Dr. Robert Gibbs, SI’s Curator of Bathypelagic Fishes, during which he successfully conducted test on a prototype high speed under water plankton net.

Cape Fear Technical Institute in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1968 offered Ed a position as instructor in Applied Oceanography in its Marine Technology Program, which he accepted because of a its larger ocean going training vessel, the R/V Advance II, and exceptional facilities and equipment, plus an opportunity for personal advancement. He was appointed Chairman of the Marine Technology Program in 1970, later Chair of the Marine Division, holding the latter position until his retirement in 1994.

While Ed was at CFTI, the Marine Technology Program grew steadily in popularity, training student to assist Marine Scientist aboard several different training vessels over the years, including the RV Cape Haterras, Duke University Newest Research Vessels at the time, on Federal, State and privately funded project including BOMEX in 1969, IFYGL in 1971, TEKTITE II in 1972, and numerous other endeavors conducted by Duke University, The Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, in the North Carolina Division of Fisheries.

Ed was a member of the North Carolina Marine Science Council, the Advisory Board for The N.C. Aquarium, CFTI’s Marine Advisory Board, and the Marine Technology Education Association, gave presentations at academic institutions coast to coast, worked with the American Council on Education as a course evaluator at many military and private marine-related institutions nationally, and served as a consultant to several departments of education including the of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, where he helped develop it’s Fisheries Training Program in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Ed was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Carolyn (Cole Townsend), twin brothers Stephen Foss (Maryann) of Cherry Hill, NJ, his younger brother Jonathan Foss (Ruth) of Biddeford, ME and his grandson Jason Lee Foss.

Ed is survived by his beloved second wife Karen Sue Foss; two sons: Christopher Allen Foss (Kristina Fallon) of Lexington, SC, and Jeffrey Arnold Foss (Windy) of Wilmington, NC; grandson Jeffrey M. Foss; granddaughter: Ashley N. Decker (Robert); step granddaughter: Jasmine Tauorti, Rachel Griffith and Holly Matherly; great-step granddaughter: Israa Tauorti, several cousins, nephews, several nieces, several grandnephews and great-nieces, and stepson Earle Griffith (Donna) of Wilmington, NC.

A Graveside service will held at 11am on Thursday, May 23, 2024 at Oleander Memorial Garden, 306 Bradley Drive, Wilmington, NC 28409.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Wounded Warriors Project.

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