Edwards, Foster visit Senate _lowres

Advocate Photo by MICHELLE MILLHOLLON -- Former Gov. Mike Foster addressed Wednesday the state Senate on reunion day.

Gov. John Bel Edwards asked Monday Louisiana residents to keep former governor Mike Foster in their prayers.

Friends of Foster's family report that the 90-year-old Franklin resident is taking hospice care.

"Donna and I ask that you join us in lifting up former Gov. Mike Foster and his family in prayer that they may find comfort and peace during this difficult time," Edwards wrote on his Facebook page.

An Eagle scout and grandson of another governor, Foster was a sugarcane planter and owned a construction company before being elected to the state Senate in 1988 at the age of 58.

He ran for governor as a little known legislator in 1995, changed from a Democrat to a Republican and became the first GOP governor since Reconstruction to serve two terms as the state’s chief executive.

As governor between 1996 and 2004, Foster headed the effort to expand the community college system as well as making the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students – TOPS pays tuition for students meeting modest academic standards – more widely available.