FOERSTER, HOMER ALTON (1921 ~ 1996). Homer Foerster, who ran the state's purchasing department for 16 years until retiring in 1985, died January 31, 1996. He was 74 and had cancer for 35 years.
Foerster was born to Martin Frank and Jenny Reinhardt Foerster on March 25, 1921 near Lockett, west of Wichita Falls. He attended Texas Tech University briefly, before dropping out to take flying lessons. When World War II began, Foerster taught Army Air Corps pilots and then eventually joined the corps. He flew all over the world during the war transporting troops and equipment. He stayed in the reserves after the war and was recalled during the Korean War.
He left the service in 1953.
Foerster met his wife, Eva Bragg, in 1950 at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, where he was stationed. They married in 1951 and moved to Austin in 1955. While in Austin, Foerster attended the University of Texas, where he earned a master's degree in public administration.
Foerster went to work in 1960 for what was then known as the Texas Board of Control, the agency responsible for buying most state goods and services and administering land purchases and other contracts. He led the agency, now known as the General Services Commission, from 1969 to 1985.
While heading the department Foerster served as president of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, in 1974 and the National Association of State Purchasing Officials, in 1978.
The Foersters and another couple bought an Austin private primary school, the Isley School, after his retirement. And Foerster founded and led a software company, Advanced Procurement Systems, Inc. He was active in both enterprises until his death.
Bibliography: Wear, Ben. Foerster, former state purchasing director, dies. Austin American-Statesman. Metro and State. Thursday February 1, 1996.