JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Robert “Robbie” Foster Jr., the former chairman of the Florida Young Republicans, has died, News4Jax learned Saturday. He was 35.
Foster was the son of a former Fourth Circuit Court judge. Citing sources close to Foster, Florida Politics said it was told that he had a “bad flu” and that he went to the emergency room just days before his death.
Foster was also the co-founder of the Jacksonville Young Republicans. The group said that Monday would have been Foster’s 36th birthday.
A statement from Dean Black, the chairman of the Republican Party of Duval County, reads:
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry -- who once served as state committeeman for the Duval County Republican Party -- posted on Twitter:
I was shocked to learn of the passing of @RMFosterJr earlier today. I met Robbie many years ago through @pnp07. He was a friend to many and a friend to the cause he believed in. Robbie was also a member of our church. I pray for his family and am grateful to have known him. https://t.co/JxKhz8l9qN— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) January 3, 2020
In lieu of its regular monthly meeting, Jacksonville Young Republicans said it will hold a gathering at Grape and Grain on Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to honor Foster’s life and collect donations for the Baptist Health Foundation.
The CDC estimates the flu kills thousands every year in America. In the fourth quarter of 2019, the belief is it killed between 2,900 and 7,200 people in the U.S.
“It’s made us all realize that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. It’s really shaken up our little neighborhood, everyone adored Robbie,” said Candice Williams, a long-time neighbor and friend of Foster.
News4Jax also spoke with a doctor at UF Health Hospital about how anyone can be vulnerable to the flu, even healthy adults.
“There’s a misconception that if you’re otherwise healthy you can not have a severe influenza infection. That’s false,” said Dr. Mobeen Rathore.
Dr. Rathore added the best prevention against the flu is to get the flu shot but that is not always guaranteed prevention.
Foster will have a funeral service held at Southside United Methodist Church on San Jose Boulevard on Tuesday morning at 11 a.m.