LOS ALTOS HILLS, Calif. (KTVU) - A South Bay couple said the late President George H.W. Bush had a profound impact on their lives both professionally and personally. They met while working under him in the White House for four years promoting his domestic policy agenda.
Andy and Cathy Foster of Los Altos Hills saw a side many people didn’t see. They were amazed and surprised at how personable and genuine he was and they admired how deeply he cared and treated people.
“I was so nervous,” said Andy Foster. “He immediately disarmed that and took that all away because he was so down to earth.”
Andy Foster is describing meeting Bush on the campaign trail when Bush was running for president in 1987. Foster then in his 20s volunteered as a motorcade driver.
“He was someone who far exceeded my expectations because he was such a nice person,” said Andy Foster.
Bush’s personable and warm demeanor made Foster want to work for him. Foster served from 1989 to 1992 in the White House Office of Political Affairs helping coordinate Bush’s political activities, visiting 30 states and traveling on Air Force One.
“He was funny and was making jokes,” said Andy Foster. “He treated everyone the same. Whether it was the guy at the golf shop who was carrying his bag or the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Everyone was treated the same
he treated everyone with kindness and respect.”
“It didn't matter if you were head of state or you were a janitor he would always take the time to say hello to somebody,” said Cathy Foster.
Cathy met Andy on the first day of the Bush Administration. Both worked in the same office. They just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.
Cathy Foster went on to work for government relations for several tech companies and helps many nonprofits in the Bay Area.
“I learned that from him,” said Cathy Foster. “It’s really important to give back to your community in any way that you can.”
Bush made a lasting impression on them.
“It made at a very young age a strong impression of honor and integrity and service that stuck with us,” said Andy Foster.
Bush taught them the value of hard work, honesty and the commitment to something bigger than yourself.
“He was a great patriot,” said Andy Foster. “He believed very strongly in our abilities as Americans to come together and to try to work things out. I think that's missing a lot in today's politics. Hopefully the passing of the president will remind people what this country is really founded on.”