The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Obituaries

March 13, 2013

Debora Swatsworth Foster

UPPER ST. CLAIR — FOSTER – Debora Swatsworth, 60, Upper St. Clair, died after a courageous battle with cancer on Monday, March 11, 2013. Beloved wife of 37 years to William R. Foster; loving mother of Jared W. Foster; daughter of Gerald W. and Helen L. Swatsworth; sister of Sandra (Randall) Rhodes; daughter-in-law of William H. and the late Virginia G. Foster; sister-in-law of James D. Foster; aunt of Jennifer (Clinton) Anderson; and grandaunt of Jack Anderson. Debora S. Foster was named vice president-corporate communications in October 2003, after serving as director of corporate communications for H.J. Heinz Co. since August 1998. She was one of the company’s chief media spokespersons and coordinated the Heinz Global Communications Team. Additionally, she served on the company’s Issues and Crisis Management Team and its Scientific Advisory Board. Debora started working at Heinz U.S.A. in 1974, where she served in various public relations jobs, including manager of internal communications, communications coordinator and publications editor. She joined the Heinz World Headquarters staff in 1987 as manager-corporate public relations and was appointed general manager-corporate communications in 1988. During her college years, she served as a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, her hometown. Debora was a member of the International Association of Business Communicator (chapter president in 1980) and the Public Relations Society of America (chapter president in 1993). In 1999, she received the Renaissance Communicator Award from PRSA Pittsburgh. She was a director and secretary of the International Food Information Council and a trustee of its foundation. She was a member of the communications councils of both the Food Processors Association and Grocery Manufacturers of America. Active in community organizations, she was a director of the Pittsburgh Opera and the FISA Foundation. Debora was chairman of the board of trustees of Westminster College and secretary of the Eden Hall Foundation and past director of the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. Ms. Foster earned a B.A. degree in English from Westminster College. Most recently, she was a principal in Fosterhyland, a media relations and training company. She was also active in Baldwin Community United Methodist Church and the South Hills Country Club Ladies Golf Association. Friends will be received at John F. Slater Funeral Home Inc., (412) 881-4100, 4201 Brownsville Road, Brentwood, Pa. 15227, from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday and 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. Funeral service at Baldwin Community United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Saturday. Everyone please meet at church. In lieu of flowers, family suggests contributions to Westminster College, 319 S. Market St., New Wilmington, Pa. 16142. Please send condolences www.johnfslater.com.

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