She was born Barbara Ann Bachman on Dec. 19, 1936, in Vancouver, Washington. After finishing high school there, she came to Stanford University in 1955. She graduated in the class of 1959 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
After college, she worked for about two years as a reporter at the Palo Alto Times. In 1961, she married Winfield "Win" Foster, whom she met at Stanford where he was a student at the law school. When Win graduated, they moved to San Francisco. There she worked for the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle, covering the city's society beat.
The couple moved to Palo Alto in 1966, and she worked for a few years before they started a family. They had two children, Laura and Andrew.
When her children started school, she went back to work, beginning with a role at the development office of the Stanford Business School. Three years later, she started her own company, a speakers bureau called Keynote Speakers, which she grew and eventually sold in 2001.
Later in life, she participated in the Mid-Peninsula League of the San Francisco Symphony, the Woman's Club of Palo Alto and the Palo Alto Garden Club. She was also involved in fundraising for the Opportunity Center and received an award for her work organizing a major Stanford reunion.
For years she went to services at All Saints' Episcopal Church and then, later, Saint Mark's Episcopal Church. In their retirement, she and Win enjoyed traveling, birding, rooting for Stanford teams and spoiling their grandchildren.
She is survived by her husband, Win, of Palo Alto; her sister, Carol Seeds Glathe, of Los Altos Hills; her children, Laura Foster Whitaker (Joel), of Washington, D.C., and Andrew Foster (Laura Kujubu), of Sacramento; and two grandchildren, Tomiko and Lily Foster.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18, at Saint Mark's Episcopal Church, 600 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Greenpeace International, the San Francisco Symphony or a charity of the donor's choice.