Judy Sunayama Foster, d May 2020

We are sad to report that Judy Foster, retired business faculty member passed away in May, 2020.

Judy was a DVC student in her earlier years, before being hired by the district as a full-time business instructor in Business/Office Technology at LMC in 1973. She transferred to DVC in 1986.

Judy participated at the ground level of many challenges. As a member of LMC’s first faculty group in 1973, Judy worked with other faculty and constituent groups to help the college in developing its general education program, policies and procedures, and establishing its presence in the community. In 1983, Judy had the opportunity to work with Bill Harlan as he was developing the San Ramon Campus.  Another experience was in store for her when the SLO movement made its presence known around 2005. Being a part of all of those endeavors complemented a nearly 40 year teaching experience. Judy retired in 2011.

I would like to make an additional comment about Judy.  I worked with Judy on a number of occasions when she was at Diablo Valley College.  She was a dedicated, thoughtful, and honest colleague, an effective contributor to the District’s college communities.

If you would like to add your own comment about Judy, you can send them to my email at ndzink@jps.net.  I can pass them on to Karen Castle who can put up your thoughts to the DVCRA web page on the UF web site–Uf4cdretired.org

Nancy Zink

Professor English, retired 

Diablo Valley College

DVCRA Liaison

Here are some thoughts about a dear colleague:

I worked closely with Judy in the Business Administration Department from the day of my hiring in 1997 until her retirement.  I still remember my first day when the department faculty lounge was decorated in my honor and Judy exuded her warmth and smile welcoming me.  Judy was truly a beacon of brightness for everything around our department as well as an inspiration to all those who worked with her.  As much a friend as a colleague.  She was tireless in promoting fun, festiveness and creativity among the faculty as well as energizing and developing new programs and curriculum.  As department chair she was gracious and fair in making tough decisions and always encouraged those around her including many faculty and administrators throughout the college.  With all her talents and friendliness, she was missed at DVC when she retired.  Judy will be remembered as a great & special person in the history of our college.
Tim Murphy


I had many occasions to work with Judy, too, and always found her to be open, friendly, ready to deal with whatever we needed to do. 

Sue Shattuck

I worked with Judy on a number of occasions when she was at Diablo Valley College.  She was a dedicated, thoughtful, and honest colleague, an effective contributor to the District’s college communities.

I was on the SLO Task Force with Judy.  She was focused on getting the job done in a way that would help our students and the college community best.  Through gentle prodding, she kept us focused, inspiring us to get our “homework” done before the next meeting, enabling our meetings to be efficient and productive.  She supported a positive working environment, one where the task force members from all parts of the campus could feel valued. 

I am sad about her passing, but I am happy that I got to know her.  She was a friend.  She was a special person who contributed a great deal to our community.

Nancy Zink

Judy came down to San Ramon soon after we began to operate.  She was incredibly effective as an instructor and helped to win acceptance for our program in those early days.  She taught most of her classes in our one big computer room where the challenge was the sheer size of the space.  I often saw her going to class with a milk carton on which she stood in order to see students in the back row and a blowhorn so that everyone could hear her. She was a truly dedicated teacher and a friend.

Bill Harlan

I was shocked this morning when I read of Judy’s death.  I had been in contact with her by phone as recently as early March.  In fact Judy sent me flowers after learning of the death of my brother that was followed 10 days late with the death of his oldest son.

Judy and I worked together on several projects.  We always attended the California Business Educators Conference held Annually at Asilomar for years.  I also traveled with Judy to out of town conferences for the National Business Educators to which she belonged.  We made one trip together to Hawaii and another to New York City.  Judy was diabetic and did not like to travel alone. 

Judy kept in touch with me and other friends including  Marti Martin, Sonia Vargas,  Marlene Ward and   Becky Stiles.  Judy always arranged the date and place  for our lunch or brunch.

The last project Judy and I worked on together was the Soft Skills Curriculum that we presented at the last CBEA Conferences at Asilomar. in 2017 Judy drove me to several of my  treatments at Kaiser and stayed with me during several of those treatments. . 

Sincerely, Bernice Dandridge