Hamblen County educator and small business owner Rebecca Jane Wisecarver Foust, affectionately known to friends and family as “Becky,” died Thursday morning, Oct. 15, 2020.
Born in Greeneville to Loyd and Ruth Wisecarver, Foust moved to Morristown as a child, where she attended Manley Elementary School and excelled as a shooting guard on the girls’ basketball team.
By eighth grade, she founded “Becky’s Majorettes,” and began devoting her time to baton lessons for younger girls and performances in local parades. She attended Morristown West High School and was a featured majorette and member of the Morristown High School Band.
She graduated in 1972.
Foust and her high school sweetheart, Byron Foust, attended the University of Tennessee together, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1975. The pair married and she was a teacher at Union Heights Elementary and West Elementary for a combined 30 years before retiring from teaching at the age of 55.
In 2002, Foust began selling gifts and home furnishings from a small booth she rented inside The Veranda Market in Morristown. She named her new venture Rebecca Jane’s and slowly built the business over several years until she opened her own boutique in 2005, where she sold wedding and bridal gifts, home furnishings and later children’s clothing.
More recently she began marketing numerous children’s clothing lines online and Rebecca Jane’s continues to serve customers throughout the United States. Foust spent countless hours at gift and clothing markets, auctions and estate sales searching for unique products for her boutique.
Patrons loved visiting with Foust in her shop, where she recommended gifts while enjoying the relationships made and strengthened in her store.
After her retirement from teaching, Byron and Becky split time between Morristown and Knoxville to be closer to their five grandchildren and their daughter, Dr. Ashley Gilmer, and son, Eric Foust, Esq.
The couple, married 46 years, have been long-time members of First Presbyterian Church of Morristown.
Foust was known for her generosity to her students and their families and routinely participated in clothing drives and Christmas toy drives.
After opening Rebecca Jane’s, Foust supported a number of causes in the community, offering items for fundraisers and auctions on a regular basis. Her family will continue to operate Rebecca Jane’s in her honor and looks forward to a new location in 2021 where children’s clothing will be the primary focus.
In August of 2019, Becky was diagnosed with a Grade 4 Glioblastoma brain tumor. She received care locally from the University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute and also participated in a groundbreaking immunotherapy trial at Duke Medical Center. Her family believes that this experimental treatment allowed her to enjoy significantly more time with her family while maintaining a high quality of life.
At her request, a celebration of Becky’s life will be held at a later date.
Those who wish to honor the memory of Rebecca Jane Wisecarver Foust are encouraged to contribute to the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University via the university’s website.