We lost another of the greatest generation and a pillar of the Moscow and University of Idaho community with the death of Maynard Axel Fosberg who passed away peacefully in his sleep on September 18t, 2020 due the effects of coronavirus. He was 101.
Maynard was born July 7, 1919 with twin sister Eva to Axel and Helen Fosberg in Turlock, California.
He grew up on the family farm in Turlock.
He joined the Army Air Corp in 1940 and was stationed at Lamore Air Force Base in charge of a photo lab, then to Denver, CO for training for gun cameras in the Army Air Corp. Maynard was then transferred to Lakeland, FL for reconnaissance training then to Thomasville, GA to train on P1 fighters as a gun camera specialist. He was honorably discharged in 1945 from the service as a Technical Sargent.
He met Margaret Williams, his future wife in Thomasville and they were married in May, 1947. Together they had two children Stephanie and Mark and eventually 6 grandchildren. He was always involved with his children’s varied activities.
After his service, he enrolled in the University of Wisconsin, Madison earning his BS in Soil Science in 1945 and his Master’s degree in 1947 in Soil Science. Maynard also achieved his doctorate in Soil Science from Wisconsin in 1963.
He and Margaret moved to Moscow in 1947. Maynard worked as a Soils Professor with the University of Idaho from 1947 (intending to stay only three years) until his retirement after 42 years in 1989. During his time at the U of I, he developed the largest soils monolith collection in the United States with 234 total soils monoliths and contributed to the World Soil Monolith collection in Holland. He published more than a hundred research papers on soil projects in ID, WA, OR, MT, WY, NE, WI and GA. During his career, he mentored more than 40 graduate students, and developed the soils laboratory that supported his research.
Ever active in retirement he took over the annual high school FFA Idaho State Land and Soils Evaluation Contest and ran it for 18 years. He rode in the Chief Joseph Trail Ride for two years while in his 80’s. He was also instrumental in restoring natural Palouse prairie to farmed land with the Latah Soil and Water Conservations Service and Palouse Land Trust.
Maynard was preceded in death by parents, twin sister Eva, and brothers Raymond, Marion, Harold and Kenneth. His wife of over 68 years, Margaret passed away in March of 2016 and his daughter Stephanie in April of 2020.
His son, Mark (Karen) Fosberg of Spokane Valley survive along with his six grandchildren.
Viewing will be at Short’s Funeral Chapel on Thursday from Noon until 8:00 P.M. A graveside service will be at 11:30 A.M. Friday at the Moscow Cemetery with Rev. Norman Fowler of the Moscow First Presbyterian Church officiating.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Maynard A. Fosberg Endowment for Soil Evaluation and Soil Science Scholarship at the University of Idaho.
To send flowers to Maynard's family, please visit our floral store.