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Roberne Wilson "Berne" Foran
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Birth: Apr. 22, 1920
Death: Nov. 6, 2006

Roberne Wilson Foran of Amarillo died Monday, Nov. 6, 2006.
Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. today in Westminster Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Jeff Conway and the Rev. Marty Loberg officiating. Private family burial will be in Llano Cemetery by Schooler Funeral Home, 4100 S. Georgia St.

Roberne Wilson Foran was born in Amarillo to Robert and Viola Wilson. One grandfather, John Frank Wilson, was the first sheriff of Armstrong County. Her other grandfather, John Hugh Wilson, studied dentistry at Johns Hopkins University and served as an early-day dentist in Quanah, where Quanah Parker, the last Comanche chief was one of his patients.

Roberne attended Amarillo High School, Amarillo College, Gardner School in New York City, West Texas A&M University and the University of Colorado. While in New York, she studied with master teachers Alberto Jonas (piano) and Franz Proschowski (voice). Her mother, Viola Wilson, was a unique teacher whose pupils appeared with a symphony orchestra, sang in operas and gave solo concerts. When her sister Wendene was 13 and she was 11, they sang the leads in "Hanzel and Gretel" with a cast of young people. Her mother transposed at sight the complete score to a lower key to accommodate the young cast. Among the operas Roberne appeared in were "Gianni Schichi" and "Madame Butterfly." Roberne was an active member of Virgeen Latson's Piano Performance Group and gave three duo-concerts. She was principal cellist with the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra in the 1940s and she often sang for the USO, weddings and church services.

At the time of her marriage, after working for the Bureau of Agricultural Economics and the Civil Aeronautics Board during the war, she became chief legal secretary to the senior trial attorney at Phillips Petroleum. Later she served as corporate secretary for Foran Construction Co. She was co-owner of Arrangements Plus, a travel guide company that specialized in Panhandle heritage.

She married her childhood sweetheart, William J. Bill Foran in 1946, after his return from World War II, and they had five children. She preferred being a room mother to serving on boards. She led each of her daughters' Girl Scout Troops and supported all of her children's activities. It was not unusual for Roberne to attend 10 or more sports or extracurricular events a week. Roberne was an enthusiastic supporter in all of Bill's civic activities, including chairmanship of the State Health Department, State Associated General Contractors and Rotary International.

Roberne was a founding member of the Amarillo Great Books Group in 1954, the oldest continuous membership Great Books group in the nation. She was appointed to the board which pioneered the Amarillo College Community Program and she served twice as the foreman of the Potter County Grand Jury. She served as a docent at the Amarillo Museum of Art for more than 25 years. She was named Texas Admiral by Gov. Dolph Briscoe. One of her proudest honors was being named to the Amarillo Library board. Other organizations she supported were Westminster Presbyterian Church (elder), Amarillo Little Theatre, Amarillo Symphony, Amarillo Opera, Planned Parenthood, KACV-TV, West Texas A&M Women's Financial Seminar, Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames, Kids, Inc., the Old Main Society of WTAMU, Goodnight Circle of the Panhandle Plains Museum, Texas Dance Theater, Junior Travel Study Club, International Club and Democratic Women.

She was preceded in death by a son, James Robert Foran. Family and friends formed a Jim Foran Memorial Fund for Youth, which sponsored an annual sixth-grade basketball tournament for 10 years. The fund continues to support youth activities and scholarships.

Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Bill Foran; a sister, Wendene Wilson Shoupe of Findlay, Ohio; a brother-in-law, Don Foran and wife Mozelle; four children, Ronda Foran Kelly of Houston, Joseph William Foran of Dallas, Donda Foran Thomasson of Beaumont and Wendy Foran Howard of Chicago; 14 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many beloved in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

The family suggests memorials be to the Jim Foran Memorial Scholarship Fund of WTAMU, in care of WTAMU Foundation, P.O. Box 60766, Canyon, TX 79016; Kids, Inc., 2201 E. 27th Ave., Amarillo, TX 79103; the Amarillo Opera, 2223 S. Van Buren St.; or a favorite charity.

Amarillo Globe-News, Nov. 8, 2006
 
 
Burial:
Llano Cemetery
Amarillo
Randall County
Texas, USA
Plot: Section 1S Lot 201 Space 2
 
Created by: Kenneth D. Bogard
Record added: Nov 08, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16552836
Roberne Wilson Berne Foran
Added by: Walter Dunn
 
Roberne Wilson Berne Foran
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Jeffrey Claytor
 
 
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