Well-known local Physicist Dr William Warwick Foster passed away peacefully in Lagan Valley Hospital on Sunday 28 February.
A service of thanksgiving for the 88 years of Bill’s life was held at St. John’s Parish Church of Ireland, Kilwarlin on Friday 4 March with burial taking place in the adjoining churchyard.
He is survived by his wife Joyce, son John, daughter Sarah, daughter in law Carolyn, son in law Alan, and grandchildren Alys and Jeni.
Bill was a well known local resident of Hillsborough.
He took a keen interest in village affairs following his retirement from the Lambeg Industrial Research Association (LIRA).
He was also a Past President of Lisburn Lions Club.
In ‘retirement’ Bill pursued a new career in the Water Industry through the formation, with his wife Joyce, of Fostech Ltd and the development of his patented water clarifying process under the Voluflow label.
He oversaw the design, construction, commissioning and monitoring of a number of innovative water treatment installations in locations throughout the UK and Ireland.
His foresight and ongoing scientific analysis were key to his many successes.
As cleaner waste water flowed out from his Voluflows Bill’s research and development was recognised with several awards for innovation flowing in.
His early career in technology began in Mansfield where Bill worked after school as a mechanic in a Mansfield bicycle shop.
Following encouragement from his teacher to apply for grammar school, he was the first of his family to attend university.
He was later awarded his Doctorate in Physics from Aberdeen University.
He worked as a technologist for a number of large companies, including Birds Eye and Unilever, in locations in the UK and Holland, before accepting the appointment at LIRA in 1986 as their Technical Director.
Also a published poet, Bill attended the annual John Hewitt Summer School to help further his literary interests.
His own book of poetry, entitled ‘Enjoy’ has remained a family favourite.
A keen gardener and horse-man Bill enjoyed both pastimes when he wasn’t taking care of his wife Joyce in their 64th year of marriage.
One of the key events recalled by family and friends was the celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary in April 2002 with a re-dedication ceremony in St. John’s Church, Kilwarlin, followed by a reception at Belfast Castle.
He was a man of great energy, enthusiasm and personal charm and will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.