We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home
Mildred Odelle Foster was born in Hartselle, Alabama on October 4, 1929, to Haley Christopher Sharpley and Jessie Estella McDonald. She moved to Cleveland, Ohio at 3 years old, and was educated in the Cleveland Public School System. Mildred attended Lafayette Elementary, Audubon Junior High, and John Adams High. She graduated from Adams in January of 1947 and delivered her class speech. Notably, she was the first African American female radio host in Cleveland with a newscast on WSRS-AM called “Notes by Stokes”. Mildred later went on to earn her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Kent State University in 1973, and her master’s degree in Education Administration and Supervision from John Carroll University in 1978. She was both an elementary teacher and assistant principal in the Cleveland Schools; and served as principal of Miles Park Elementary. After retiring in 1994, Mildred became a student teaching supervisor for Kent State University.
Mildred was a member of the Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She served as chairperson of the Teen Lift program for more than 25 years. She was also an active member of the Ludlow Community Association in Shaker Heights, where she served as corresponding secretary. She was raised at Lane Metropolitan Church, but later joined Advent Lutheran Church as an adult. She was very active in the music department at Advent for decades.
Mildred married the late Congressman Louis Stokes on October 17, 1948. They had three children together: Shelley, Angela, and Louis (Chuck). She later married Rufus Clifford Foster on August 12, 1959. Through their union they had a daughter, Kathleen, and a stepson, Clifford (Butch), now deceased. She is survived by one brother and sister-in-law, one niece, 11 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.
Mildred passed away on September 16, 2022, in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Her services will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on October 1, 2022.
10:00 - Delta Sigma Theta Omega Omega Service
10:30 - Family Hour
11:30 - Celebration of Life
mail gifts to
The Music Settlement, Office of Advancement
11125 Magnolia Drive
Cleveland, OH 44106
The Music Settlement
11125 Magnolia Drive, Cleveland OH 44106