In Memory

Colleen Foster

Colleen M. Foster

July 13th, 1951 - April 15th, 2021

Trailblazer and pioneer. Creator of rituals, sumptuous meals and desserts, and memorable experiences with family and friends. Professor. Global citizen. Astute information seeker and communicator. Fearless adventurer. Generous daughter, step-daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, friend, teacher, and colleague to many across the world. These are just some of the ways to describe the indescribable life and impact of Colleen M. Foster.

Colleen was a results-oriented marketing and communications expert, specializing in strategic planning, environmental sustainability, agriculture and food, and related businesses and services. Her experience and skills enhanced the development of both multi-national corporations and small businesses as well as a broad range of entrepreneurial activities in the United States and Asia-Pacific region.

Colleen was a citizen of the world, having lived, worked, and studied in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Indonesia, and Afghanistan. Her special personal interests included culinary research and studying the relationship between food, culture, and travel. She held a Master’s Degree in International Marketing and Applied Statistics. She also studied at the Culinary Institute of America, the Cordon Bleu in Paris, and various other culinary education situations. Since 2014, she served as the Associate Professor of Practice, Chair of the Business Department, and MBA Program Director at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF). She was deeply fond of and committed to her AUAF students and colleagues, who remember her for her inquisitiveness, extraordinarily diverse skills, generosity of spirit, and optimism.

Colleen made a tremendously positive impact on our lives. Her example, generosity, empathy, and indomitable spirit leave an indelible imprint on us all.

From Colleen's FB page
It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of Colleen’s passing on 15 April, in Minneapolis. Her lifelong friends, Donna Tremmell, Mary Ann Boe, Greg DeWitt and nephew Paul Foster, were by her side. Colleen’s accomplishments and contributions to the lives of her family, friends, students and professional communities were prodigious.
Colleen did not want a funeral. In order to give expression to our grief while respecting her wishes, please consider a donation to the Professor Colleen Foster Memorial Scholarship at the American University of Afghanistan or Animal Ark. Links to both are included here,
Colleen’s example, generosity, empathy and indomitable spirit leave an indelible imprint on us all.

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04/23/21 04:24 AM #1    

Karl Florine

What happened?


04/23/21 09:31 AM #2    

Pat Cooke (Schu)

So very sorry to hear this. I hadn't seen Colleen since high school, but have thought of her many times, always remembering what a fun, smart, kind and interesting person she was even then. I'm sad to read that she is gone, but happy to read what a wonderful and interesting life she had. Clearly the world is a better place because of her. 

04/23/21 05:40 PM #3    

Karl Florine

No Longer Mourn For Me When I Am Dead


No longer mourn for me when I am dead

Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell

Give warning to the world that I am fled

From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell;

Nay, if you read this line, remember not

The hand that writ it; for I love you so,

That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,

If thinking on me then should make you woe.

O, if, I say, you look upon this verse

When I perhaps compounded am with clay,

Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,

But let your love even with my life decay;

    Lest the wise world should look into your moan,

    And mock you with me after I am gone.



W. Shakespeare 

04/24/21 10:02 AM #4    

Bruce Boevers

I am deeply saddened by this news.

Colleen was fellow citizen of the world.  Although we underlapped in Kabul, I could see that she was as invested in "her" Afghans as I was in "mine".  I would check in with her whenever there was a Taliban kerfluffle in town, just to make sure she was okay.  She always insisted that she was just fine, but thanked me for asking.

She was always so vibrant; I can't believe she's gone.  Be at peace.

04/24/21 04:59 PM #5    

Sue Crosbie

My dear Scarlett O’Foster, mon amie, broken heart

Where do I begin?! So many, many memories over our 55-year friendship! High school Saturdays speeding to the Twin Cities in your Mustang to visit museums and eat deep-dish pizza; CATS on Broadway in NYC after drinking champagne and reading T.S. Eliot’s The Naming of Cats pre-theater in your hotel room; good times at your flat on Arundel in St Paul; the University Club; class reunion; your many travels; my many travels; boating on Lake Washington; your kind attendance at Mary’s funeral – with deep gratitude; your meeting my flight from Oman and spending three days together in Mpls – as you were planning and packing for Kabul; delicious food! And now…. We never did get our -stan rendez-vous organized, nor did I get to Kabul, nor did you get to Oman…… my heart is sad that I didn’t get to say good-bye, so I’ll wish you a happy journey into the kingdom of peace and love. Lots of love to you always. heart

PS  So, you’re joining my mom who loved you so much – I’m sure she’s welcoming you with open arms. xxxxx

04/25/21 12:39 PM #6    

John Apitz

Suddenly, there is a huge hole in the world and a sad quietness.  I remember the special way that Colleen could see the world in ways that others did not... a special poetry in motion.  And, always a joyfulness no matter the situation.  Her life was an adventurer's story, her memory is an inspiration.   RIP, dear friend.



04/26/21 10:15 AM #7    

Lynn Nordgren

Colleen was a one of a kind - so much personality wrapped up in one person. I saw her a few times after high school and her vibrant nature was always present. I admired her quick wit, ability to be silly, brilliant intelligence, courage to speak up, adventurous spirit, amazing accomplishments, and her kindheartedness.  You can't help but smile when you think of her.  After reading all the comments on mykeeper, she was clearly loved by those who knew her no matter where she took root - both here and around the world. Colleen will be missed by many but there is no doubt she is off on a new adventure finding family, seeing old friends, and making new ones - in another realm. Have fun, Colleen!  Enjoy the next journey - and thanks for all you gave to this world. ❤️

04/26/21 11:03 AM #8    

Patti Gazzola (Thiem)

Ah, Colleen. Long after you left the room, the state, the country, your presence lingered. Always one to inspire, to learn. What a delightful woman and a joy to be with. And there was the lipstick! It had to be bright to compete with your eyes. Love you always.

04/26/21 05:00 PM #9    

Jane Ziesmer (Graff)

It was fun and delightful to chat with Colleen whenever she returned to a MHS Class Reunion. She lived an exciting and exotic life that one can only dream to have. She was warm and kindhearted. It was easy to see how she excelled as an educator. She is one of the bright stars of the Class of '69 and she represented us well. Shine on Colleen and I am sure you will create this next journey to be as exciting and inspiring as the previous one.  Until we meet again......

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