top of page
Lilac Hydrangea
Randy Foster at the organ.png


October 29, 1952 – April 13, 2024

Randy Paul Foster, 71, a native of Greenville, Ala., and longtime resident of Montgomery, Ala., passed away at home on April 13, 2024.


Randy was a gifted musician and arts educator as well as an advocate for arts in the classroom as well as the lives of everyone, everywhere, young and old.


As the Executive Director of the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts, he devoted himself tirelessly to ensuring that all educators, not just arts educators, could incorporate and successfully share the arts with their students as part of their curricula. In this role, he called upon all his many arts connections made throughout his life and career to create meaningful and powerful partnerships in the arts and education communities.

Randy’s musical career began in 1976 as a staff member in the theatre department of Huntingdon College followed by serving as the head of the music department at the Montgomery School of Fine Arts. His many roles in the arts community grew rapidly. Randy directed or served as musical director for countless theatre, dance, and orchestral productions in the region, including his work with Alabama Shakespeare Festival (where he continued to teach camps and classes), The Cloverdale Playhouse, The Wetumpka Depot, The Wetumpka High School Theatre Guild (and several other local high schools), Theatre AUM, and Montgomery Little Theatre, Maxwell Playhouse, Alabama Dance Theatre, The Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. He was, because of the gifts he

possessed, a vital part of education outreach throughout Alabama.


As a voice teacher and vocal coach, Randy, aided the careers of many young performers, among them nominees for and winners of awards from the Country Music Association, The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Oscar, and the Recording Academy’s Grammy Award.


Randy’s lifetime of achievements earned him many awards and accolades, including, most recently, the Alabama Conference of Theater’s 2022 Dorothy Schwartz Outstanding Educator Award for Contributions to Theatre in Alabama. Even as a youth, Randy’s talent and dedication earned him distinction as the Bellas Hess and Walter O. Parmer Scholarship, a grant to participate in the Eugene O’Neil Theater’s Cabaret Symposium in Waterford Connecticut, a fellowship to Rutgers University’s Figaro Symposium (From Pen to Podium).


Randy created home and community wherever he was and was always grateful for the opportunities his family and community provided him as a youngster. When the Ritz Theatre in Greenville was renovated, Randy was the first native son to return home and give a musical concert in 1988, christening the theatre’s new Baldwin Grand Piano. And he always attributed his success to his mother, who made him start piano lessons at eight years old; Dorothy Parrish, his first music teacher; and Roberta Gamble, his high school history, creative writing, and theater teacher.

Randy loved the visual arts, as well, and was a discerning collector of the works of folk & outsider and contemporary artists. Further, he was a patron and supporter of many young and new artists.


His knowledge of material culture was nearly encyclopedic and allowed him to connect any two pieces of information to make a mountain of understanding. Randy shared that keen intellect freely, especially and so effectively, with the many young people in the area he tutored for college preparation.


Randy loved his church and, particularly, loved liturgical music. He was the organist and choir director for the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter in Montgomery, and he played countless services for churches in the region and beyond.


Preceded in death by his father, Willie Claude Foster and Brother in Law, Wallace Howard Wills, Randy leaves behind (for now) his loving mother Betty Andress Foster, his proud and adoring sister Shirley Wills, nephew Wallace H. (Sonny) Wills Jr., and great-niece Townson Wills, and great-nephew Wallace H. Wills III, his longtime companion in life’s adventures Eleanor Kerr Davis, and countless loving members of the family of his own making and friends all over the world.


Randy was a bright light put out too soon, but he leaves the world more brilliant for his influence on the innumerable lives he touched and made bigger and better. 


A service to celebrate Randy’s life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Church of the Holy Comforter (2911 Woodley Road, Montgomery, Ala. 36111). The family will welcome friends for visitation at 12:30 p.m. Randy requested that his ashes be interred among his good friends in the memorial garden at Holy Comforter. There will be a reception immediately after the service and interment.


The Reverend Rosa Lindahl will conduct the service. Rusty Bailey, Matt Dickson, Madison Faile, Kristy Meanor, Greta Lambert, John McWilliams, Karen Preuss, Melba Richardson, David Rowland, Kate Seale Smith, and Cathy Wright will serve as honorary pall bearers. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be given to the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts or the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter Music Program.


Randy’s service may be viewed on Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter Facebook Live stream (

bottom of page