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Carlton Dan Foote

January 16, 1935 October 10, 2021
Carlton Dan Foote
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Obituary for Carlton Dan Foote

Carlton Dan Foote passed away Sunday, October 10, 2021, from Parkinson’s disease, at home in the company of his family. Dan was born on January 16, 1935, in State Center, Iowa, and grew up on a farm outside of town in the Methodist faith. After graduating from State Center High School in 1953, he completed a B.S. in Chemistry at Central College in Pella, Iowa, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Illinois in 1963.


While in graduate school, he met and married Beverly Dreisow, a graduate student in Agronomy. After completing their Ph.Ds., they moved to Detroit, Michigan, where Dan held a postdoc research position at Wayne State University. Dan began his teaching career at Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky. In 1965 he accepted a position teaching Chemistry and Biochemistry at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. Dan retired from Eastern Illinois University in 1997. Dan and Beverly moved to Champaign, Illinois, in 2013 to be closer to their family.


Teaching was a form of storytelling to Dan, stories of chemical properties and reactions. He made chemistry accessible to chemistry and non-chemistry majors alike. He was touched by many of his students and delighted to hear of their successes after they graduated, including one Nobel Prize recipient.


Growing up, Dan enjoyed working outside on the farm, bringing in the cows and harvesting the crops. As an adult, he always had vegetable and flower gardens. He volunteered to work on maintaining natural areas; he was a founding member of the Embarras Volunteer Stewards and a dedicated member of Grand Prairie Friends.


Dan enjoyed taking long summer road trips, including to California, Florida and New York City, and a whole summer in Alaska. They canoed the boundary waters in Minnesota, the wild and scenic Missouri River, and the Everglades. Dan and Beverly followed events along the Lewis and Clark Trail for 22 years.


Dan and Beverly were active in the Illini Folk Dance Society while graduate students at University of Illinois. Dan was fascinated with flying from an early age and flew a JC Piper Cub in aerobatic competitions. He was a relentless badminton player. He taught himself carpentry, gifting many beautifully crafted pieces of furniture to his family. Dan’s favorite game was cribbage; he taught many how to play.


Dan rode a motorcycle to work and encouraged his children to share in the joy of the ride. Dan loved telling stories full of puns, wordplay and metaphors. He especially enjoyed telling his story about taking a turtle for a motorcycle ride.


Dan is preceded in death by parents Edith and Carl Foote, sister Jolene Bryant, brother Frank, and sisters Judy Dicken and Myrt Hartmann. Dan is survived by his youngest sister, Carla Stark, his wife Beverly, son Carl (Tom West) Foote, daughter Karen (David) Andsager and their children Irene (Edwin Lira) Lira-Andsager, Artemis, and Evan, and daughter Susan (Dan) Hara and their children Andrew and Matthew.


Donations may be made in the name of Dan Foote to West Marshall Foundation Scholarship, West Marshall Community School District, 601 3rd Street NW, State Center, IA 50247, and to Grand Prairie Friends (www.grandprairiefriends.org). There will be no memorial service.

According to his wishes cremation rites have been accorded by Illiana Cremation Society. Condolences may be shared with his family on his everlasting memorial page at: www.IllianaCremationSociety.com

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