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Denise Foster (1926-2022): Volunteer and ‘belle of Bermuda’

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Denise and Deryck Foster (Photograph supplied)
Denise Foster (Photograph supplied)

A dedicated volunteer in Bermuda ran the painting career of a top maritime artist, her husband, whose work is exhibited in the National Museum of Bermuda.

Denise Foster was also a veteran with the Women’s Royal Naval Service who worked in the signals dispatch office for the landings in Nazi-occupied Norway by British and Free Norwegian Forces at the end of the Second World War.

Born in England, she met the artist Deryck Foster while studying architecture in London after the war.

They married in 1949.

The couple moved to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, where Mr Foster painted maritime scenes from the present day as well as from history, under his wife’s management of their gallery.

Their Bermuda connection came by happenstance when DeForest “Shorty” Trimingham, a Bermudian former tourism minister and sailor who worked in the family retail business, visited the island in 1968 with his wife Dorothy for the yacht races at the maritime centre of Cowes.

Impressed by Mr Foster’s artwork, Mr Trimingham encouraged his career, and exhibited his paintings in the Front Street windows of Trimingham Bros during the Newport-Bermuda Race of 1972.

The success of the show brought the Fosters to live in Bermuda.

Denise Foster in the Women's Royal Naval Service (Photograph supplied)

According to the family, Ms Foster was a “belle of Bermuda” running her husband’s business, and “adding to island life”.

“Denise has always volunteered her talents, either at the hospital, the Maritime Museum or writing,” their son-in-law, Chip, wrote.

The couple lived for ten years in Bermuda.

Ms Foster’s volunteering included writing The Be Careful Book of Plants in Bermuda, on the island’s poisonous plants, as a fundraiser for the International Women’s Club.

Denise Foster (Photograph supplied)

Her husband’s work detailed the island’s maritime history, and a collection went on display at the National Museum.

The couple moved to Mallorca and then England, but their daughter, Karin Waters, said they both revisited Bermuda in their later years to help restore model ships at the museum.

Mr Foster died in 2011, and Ms Foster was living in Uppingham, Rutland in the UK at her death this year.

They are also survived by another daughter, Sarah Condon.

“They loved their time here, and she loved Bermuda, Ms Waters added.

“Bermuda meant a lot to her. They made many good friends here.”

· Denise Marjorie Foster, a dedicated volunteer in Bermuda who organised her husband Deryck’s art career, was born on March 23, 1926. She died on May 19, 2022, aged 96.

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Published August 20, 2022 at 7:53 am (Updated August 20, 2022 at 7:53 am)

Denise Foster (1926-2022): Volunteer and ‘belle of Bermuda’

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