|Paul Lee Foshee, Sr.|
Foshee as a crop duster
Louisiana State Senator for
principally Natchitoches Parish
1972 – 1976
|Preceded by||Sylvan Friedman|
|Succeeded by||Donald Gene "Don" Kelly|
Louisiana State Representative
for Natchitoches Parish
(one of two members)
1960 – 1964
|Preceded by||E. H. Haynes|
|Succeeded by||Ray Darryl Tarver|
|Born|| November 12, 1932|
|Died|| November 8, 2020 (aged 87)|
|Resting place||Fern Park Cemetery in Natchitoches|
|Spouse(s)|| Divorced from:|
(1) Charlene Addington Foshee
|Children|| Paul Foshee, Jr.
Fran Lea Foshee Poole
Paul Lee Foshee, Sr. (born November 12, 1932 – November 8, 2020), was a retired crop duster from Natchitoches, Louisiana, who served as a Democrat nonconsecutively in both houses of his state's legislature during the 1960s and 1970s.
Foshee was descended from an old-line Natchitoches family, which first came to the Cane River area in 1690 from Paris, France. His parents, who married in 1928, were George Washington Foshee (1893–1973), a veteran of World War I and a sawmill operator in Natchitoches, and the former Mamie Lee Smith (1906–1991). Foshee was reared in the Southern Baptist Church. In 1950, he graduated from Natchitoches High School (renamed Natchitoches Central High School after desegregation), and in 1961, he completed studies for a bachelor's degree in social science at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.
Foshee was married and divorced six times. From his first marriage to the former Charlene Addington, the daughter of Charles Garland Addington and the former Wanda Vera Smiddy (1916–1975), he had four children. Paul Foshee, Jr. (born 1951), operates Foshee Dusting Company in Natchitoches, the business that Foshee founded in 1952. Foshee, Sr., retired from flying in 1998.
From the first marriage, Foshee also has a daughter, Fran Lea Foshee Poole, and the late son, George Foshee. A fourth child from the first marriage, Christie Cheryl Foshee, died at birth; no dates are marked on her gravestone at Fern Park Cemetery in Natchitoches. From the second marriage to the former Venita Ann Higgs, since deceased, Foshee had a third son, Lane Chase Foshee (1970–1999). He had no children from his subsequent marriages to the former Martha Martinez, Joyce Wall, Karen Cook, and Katherine Joan Phares.
Foshee held Patent 5033695, July 23, 1991, on the Aileron counterbalance mount bracket used on the Brumann crop dusting plane. The device operates similarly to power steering in automobiles. The patent expired in 2010.
From 1960 to 1964, beginning at the age of twenty-seven, Foshee served a single four-year term as a state representative for Natchitoches Parish. With former Representative Curtis Boozman, he was elected in a two-member district in which the incumbents, Monnie T. Cheves, and E. H. Hayes, were unseated in the 1959-1960 election cycle. Hayes was a former agriculture teacher at Natchitoches High School;
Eight years later, Foshee was elected to a single term in the state Senate when he unseated 20-year Democratic Senator Sylvan Friedman, a pro-Long farmer, cattleman, and large landowner from Natchez in south Natchitoches Parish (not to be confused with Natchez, Mississippi). After securing the pivotal Democratic nomination, Foshee then handily defeated in the general election held on February 1, 1972, the Republican Bob Reese, a businessman who later became chairman of the Natchitoches Parish Board of Election Supervisors and served on the Republican State Central Committee from 1968 to 1996. Reese had earlier run for the Louisiana House from Jackson Parish, having been defeated by future Speaker E. L. "Bubba" Henry.
In the first ever nonpartisan blanket primary in 1975, Foshee was unseated by his fellow Democrat, Don Kelly, a Natchitoches attorney and thoroughbred horse breeder originally from Coushatta in Red River Parish. In 1979, Foshee’s 23-year-old son, George Barnes "Barney" Foshee (1956–2000), failed in an attempt to unseat Kelly, who scored the second of his five terms in the state Senate. In 1987, Foshee himself unsuccessfully challenged Kelly, 25,619 votes (62.5 percent) to 15,346 (37.5 percent).
Foshee considers himself to have been an independent "good government" type of legislator, concerned in particular about bills relating to insurance, reducing taxes, and removing from the state payroll, so-called "deadheads" or phantom employees who perform little or no actual work for their government checks. Though outgoing Governor Earl Kemp Long supported Foshee's initial election to the House, Foshee considered himself neither "pro-Long" nor "anti-Long" within his state's then dominant Democratic Party.
Foshee died at his Natchitoches home four days prior to his 88th birthday. He is interred along with other family members at Fern Park Cemetery in Natchitoches.
- Obituary of Paul Lee Foshee, Sr. of Natchitoches, Louisiana (1932-2020). blanchardstdenisfuneralhome.com. Retrieved on February 7, 2021.
- Statement of Paul Foshee, Sr., Natchitoches, Louisiana, September 24, 2009.
- National Agricultural Aviation Association listing, agaviationlorg, September 23, 2009, inforrmation no longer available on-line.
- Fern Park Cemetery, Natchitoches, Louisiana. rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved on February 7, 2021.
- US Patent 5033695 - Aileron counterbalance mount bracket. patentstorm.us/patents. Retrieved on September 29, 2009; no longer on-line.
- Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2024 (Natchitoches Parish). Louisiana House of Representative. Retrieved on February 7, 2021.
- Monnie T. Cheves obituary, Alexandria Town Talk, August 17, 1988, page=D3, August 17, 1988.
- Louisiana Parish Election Officials List. longdistancevoter.org. Retrieved on September 26, 2009; no longer on-line.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, February 6, 1968.
- Membership of the Louisiana Senate, 1880-2024 (Natchitoches Parish). Louisiana State Senate. Retrieved on February 7, 2021.
- Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 24, 1987.