December 1, 1935 – February 7, 2019
Tom Foster, Jr. and Joyce Pruitt Foster died together unexpectedly on February 7, 2019 in at the ages of 84 and 82.
Tom and Joyce are survived by siblings Howard and Jeannie Pruitt, Talmo, Georgia; Wallace and Janice Pruitt, Gainesville, Georgia; Sue and Ronnie Graham, McCaysville, Georgia; nephews (second parents), Stephen and Cecelia Pruitt, Atlanta; Wally and Laurie Pruitt, Gainesville, Georgia; Matt and Baya Pruitt, Flowery Branch, Georgia; and Joseph Pruitt, Gainesville, Georgia; great nieces and nephews (second grandparents), Samuel Foster and Abigail Joy Pruitt, Atlanta, Georgia; Erin and Hugh Pruitt, Gainesville, Georgia; Parker, Carson, Quinn, and Cameron Pruitt, Flowery Branch, Georgia.
Tom was born on December 17, 1935 in Lenoir City, Tennessee to Tom, Sr. and Willie Foster. He graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1958 with a degree in education. “Coach Tom” as he was known throughout Fannin County began his teaching and coaching career at West Fannin High School in 1958 where he amassed an impressive coaching record, but he believed his greatest accomplishments were influencing the lives of many young men and women. Joyce Pruitt was born on May 27, 1936 to Howard Young, Sr and Arie Pruitt. Joyce worked for more than 3 decades with the Dickey McCay Insurance Agency as an accountant. Joyce received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Brenau University, an accomplishment she undertook with great pride. Tom married Joyce in 1960. Over the greater part of the next 60 years, the couple welcomed many family, students, friends, and children into their home. Each person who entered their home was treated as family. Tom and Joyce were very proud of their careers and had many accomplishments along the way, but it was their love and personality that changed the world of each person who met them.
Their love of travel was well known to all, but their capacity for love was legendary. Tom loved golf and Joyce loved travel and cold weather. They both loved the University of Tennessee football program and could usually be found on Fall Saturdays at Neyland Stadium cheering on the Vols. But, besides each other, their greatest love were people. They spent many hours working and volunteering at First Baptist McCaysville where Tom served as deacon while Joyce served many roles at the church. Most recently they served as best friend to Senior Pastor Matthew McDaniel. They were still close to the Fannin County School System and worked diligently with the athletic departments in Fannin County and Lenoir City with their Halls of Fame, both of which Tom was an inductee. Most of all, they took great pride and pleasure in their family and the nephews and great nephews and nieces that they saw as their children and grandchildren. Each of them know their lives were better for having Tom and Joyce as a beacon of light giving them love, hope, and guidance. They and all those who learned from and were cared for by Tom and Joyce, in turn, are grateful to be their legacy.
The family will be receiving family and friends on February 11, 2019 at Finch-Cochran Funeral Home from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. A celebration of life is scheduled for Tuesday, February 12, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church McCaysville/Copperhill. Senior Pastor Matthew McDaniel will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Tom and Joyce’s life.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to First Baptist Church McCaysville/Copperhill at P.O. Box 867, McCaysville, Georgia, 30555. The family would like to thank Matthew McDaniel for his friendship, support and service and the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office for their persistence, professionalism, and kindness.