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Tonita Minge Foster

Retired Roanoke attorney Tonita Minge Foster died Oct. 8. She was 76.

After earning her B.A. in psychology from the University of Richmond, Ms. Foster went on to graduate from the George Washington University law school in 1969. She began her legal career in 1970 at the Model Cities Program in Norfolk. She concurrently served as the Assistant Director of the Legal Aid Clinic in Richmond, and served two terms on the Newport News City Council.

Ms. Foster established two legal aid clinics – the first one in Newport News in 1974 and a second one in Roanoke in 1977. While opening her first legal aid clinic, Ms. Foster was also teaching classes in poverty law at the University of Richmond, the College of William and Mary and Norfolk State University.

Ms. Foster opened a successful law practice in Roanoke through which she consistently provided pro bono legal services to underserved communities. She was known as being a strong advocate for women’s rights, and pioneered many causes including special education compliance, fathers’ rights and fair access to the court system.

Ms. Foster retired in 2012 and moved with her husband, Don, to Williamsburg to be closer to their children.

Ms. Foster is survived by her husband; her sons, Christopher and David; her brothers, Edward and Jack; and many grandchildren.