Stanley J. Foster Jr. of Towson, a former warden of the Baltimore County jail, died Friday of myasthenia gravis at Wildwood, N.J. He was 76.
Born on Staten Island, N.Y., Mr. Foster graduated from Good Council High School in Newark, N.J. He joined the Army, serving in the Korean War as a training, supply and mess officer, and receiving an Occupation Medal (Germany) and a National Defense Service Medal.
After his discharge Mr. Foster returned to New Jersey to marry his high school sweetheart, Marie C. Siele, about whom he said "there was no other love." Mrs. Foster died three years ago after nearly 50 years of marriage.
Mr. Foster earned a bachelor's degree from Seton Hall University in 1958. With a teaching certificate he also earned from the school, he was a substitute for elementary school classes and special education students.
In 1954, he was hired as a guard at the Essex County jail in Newark. He worked his way up at the jail, and in 1963, Baltimore County hired him to head its jail. Mr. Foster and his family moved to Towson.
Mr. Foster started Maryland's first work-release program. He worked to ease jail crowding and established a Narcotics Anonymous program where addicted inmates would warn teens about drug abuse.
He served as the director of the National Jail Association, which in 1966 recognized him as the National Jailor of the Year, the highest award for a prison director in the United States.
After friction with county administrators, including then-County Executive Spiro T. Agnew, Mr. Foster resigned in 1969. He become a self-employed real estate agent.
"It was about always doing the right thing," said a son, Dr. Stanley J. Foster III of Waterbury, Conn. "If you have a choice between sliding by and doing the right thing, he always trusted you'd do the right thing to help."
Mr. Foster was a member of the National Jail Association, the American Correctional Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, Knights of Columbus and the Emerald Association of New Jersey.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, 200 Ware Ave., Towson.
He is also survived by two other sons, James Foster Sr. and Steven Foster, both of Towson; three daughters, Cecilia Foster of Parkville, Helen Foster of Towson and Katherine Linhard of Parkton; and numerous grandchildren.