is rare that one maintains a relationship with someone you went
to high school with over fifty years ago. I played high school sports
with Brother Spurag beginning in 1955. We always stayed connected
over the years even though our lives took different paths. He was
a great friend and my brother. This article is dedicated to his
31, 1940 ~ April 9,
is to announce, to the community, that our friend and brother,
Spurag Foster made his transition into eternity on Thursday,
April 09, 2009, at 4:00 a.m. in Houston, Texas. As many of us know, Spurag relocated to Houston a few years ago after
having spent a few years in Las Vegas, Nevada. Spurag moved to Houston to assist his son and grandchildren. While in Houston,
Spurag discovered that our good friend and brother,
Leighton “Frog” Jackson, also lived in
Houston. Leighton and Spurag connected over the
last few years and were in constant contact with each other. In
fact, Spurag, through the help of Leighton and his wife Glenda, found an apartment across the street from Leighton’s house. Within
the last several months, as Spurag’s health
deteriorated and he underwent major surgery, Leighton and Glenda provided the care, love, and support for him during this critical
time in his life. We all thank Leighton and Glenda for taking such
care in looking after our brother, Spurag.
Foster was born on Wednesday, July 31, 1940 in Birmingham, Alabama. Like many black families,
Spurag’s family migrated from the south to Chicago.
Spurag spent many years growing up in the Woodlawn Community, graduated
from Wadsworth Elementary School in January 1955 and went on to
attend Hyde Park High School. Spurag had a passionate love for athletics
and instantly began to demonstrate his athletic skills on the Frosh-Soph
Basketball Team and the Varsity Football and Baseball Teams. He
made the Varsity teams as a sophomore and became a key player in
his junior year on Hyde Park’s Varsity Basketball
the baseball team, Spurag was an outstanding catcher known for his ability to hit long
balls. He was a power hitter. On the football team, Spurag was a pulling guard, a ferocious
blocker and a tenacious defensive lineman. He had no fear of physical
contact. As a basketball player Spurag finessed his athletic skills
into a talented and creative guard, along
with his friends Arthur Hyrams and Albert Jefferson,
who rotated in what we call today, the
point and off-guard positions.
graduating from Hyde Park High School in January 1959, Spurag enlisted in the United States Navy where served, honorably,
for four years. During his stint in the Navy, Spurag embarked on
a boxing career and won numerous championships as a boxer for the
U. S. Navy.
his naval career, Spurag became a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus driver for many,
many years. His main route was Cottage
Grove from 79th Street
to Downtown and back. He was one of the mainstays of 79th &
Cottage where he often socialized with other bus drivers in the
neighborhood lounge. During this time Spurag distinguished himself
as an outstanding softball player for the President’s Lounge team
in Washington Park.
His love for sports and his participation in softball continued
for many years.
addition to his athleticism, Spurag began
to indulge in the game of Poker, various
other card games, and games of chance.
Spurag became quite skillful and developed an expertise for which
he derived additional income from these endeavors.
was married only once and spent most of his life as a bachelor,
doing what bachelors do. He
fathered seven children that he cared for, deeply loved, and supported. He had
numerous grandchildren and one great grandchild.
who grew up with Spurag, who participated
in athletics with Spurag, who went to
class with Spurag, and who socialized
with Spurag, we can all truly say,
we loved Spurag!
leaves to cherish his memory his seven children,
grandchildren and great grandchild; long-time athletic high school
friends and buddies like Charles Barnes,
Ernie Thompson, Arthur Hyrams, Ed Price,
Rufus Calhoun, Fred Hopson, Albert Jefferson,
Herbert Rochelle, Conrad Worrill, and a whole host of friends
and loved ones, a list too long to name.
We loved Brother Spurag, and his gregariousness will remain with
us through his great spirit, throughout eternity.
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, Conrad W. Worrill, PhD, is the National
Chairman of the National Black United Front (NBUF). Click here
to contact Dr. Worrill.