Terry Foster, the Gulfport woman who was the driving force behind the town's straw free initiative and a tireless animal rescue advocate, was found dead in her home Tuesday, Nov. 6.
The community, many of whom either new Foster in real life or through her many social media clients, reacted with grief and shock.
"She lived and breathed Gulfport," Barbara Banno, president of the Gulfport Merchants Chamber, told Creative Loafing. "Any time I spoke to her it, was how to promote Gulfport or small businesses."
Foster — who, in addition to her tireless efforts to get local businesses in the waterfront town to go straw-free, worked as a social media manager for many local groups and businesses, managing more than 25 social media accounts, most of which are in Gulfport — was also an animal rescue advocate, working on the annual Gulfport Get Rescued event and giving a homeless dog a forever home — and his own Facebook page.
She leaves behind one rescue dog, Jack Sprat Sparrow, and two once-feral cats she'd worked with to earn their trust. Her friends, Mike and Gini Fagan — who own the Gulfport Beach Bazaar, another of Foster's clients — have taken in the dog and promised CL they'd give him a forever home.
"Terry Foster kept the town and all of us informed, from events to happenings to missing pets," Mike Fagan said. "I called her the social media police! She was all about the facts and details [for] (all things) Gulfport. You either loved her or love to hate her — either way you fucking loved her!"
Banno says there will be a memorial, but, as of this morning, didn't have any firm plans yet.