“My father made sure that any kids who came into his store who needed shoes, left with a new pair on their feet,” Rob Fouss said. “It is a humbling feeling to help others less fortunate and this charitable fund is a way that I can honor my father’s lifelong ambition to help those in need.”
The story of Rob’s father, Robert E. Fouss, began with his birth to Margaret Kehl and William Jacob Fouss on June 20, 1920 in Casey, Illinois. When he was just a young boy, his family moved to Marietta, Ohio. For many years, Fouss walked past a corner store in Marietta and became intrigued with the idea of operating a store of his own. During World War II, Fouss enlisted and became a quartermaster in Manila in the Philippines. He was placed in charge of dispensing equipment for the war effort, including clothes, food and truck parts for the Army.
Upon returning from the war, he began working at Fort Pitt Shoes on Market Street in Parkersburg and, later, opened Ford Shoes in the Grand Central Mall. During his 46 years in business, Fouss only missed a few days of work. After retiring in 1983, he began woodworking, making hundreds of items, including bowls, lamps, candlesticks, kitchen cabinets and arts and crafts pieces.
After his death in 1995, his son, Rob Fouss, said people started telling him stories about how his dad had provided them with shoes through trades for fresh eggs, bacon or other arrangements when they couldn’t afford to pay. These stories touched the family deeply.
In 1999, Rob and his sister, Pam Fouss Wenmoth, established the Robert E. Fouss Memorial Fund, which supports the general charitable purposes of the PACF, with a particular emphasis on providing shoes to children in need, in partnership with area schools and charitable organizations.
Since its establishment, hundreds of children throughout the community have received shoes in the name of their father. To support this fund, please make a donation here.