Dr. Benjamin A. Foote

Dr. Benjamin A. Foote, 85, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, July 6th. He was born in Delaware, Ohio on October 25, 1928 to Grant and Nettie (nee Archer) Foote. Three brothers and a sister preceded him in death.

Dr. Foote completed his B.A. in Zoology at Ohio Wesleyan (Alpha Tau Omega) in 1950 and his Masters in Entomology at Ohio State University in 1952. Following 2 years of service in Germany with the Army during the Korean War, he was honorably discharged with the rank of Corporal. In 1961, he completed his PhD in Entomology at Cornell University. As a highly respected expert in entomology, he was a professor of Biology at Kent State University for 35 years where he mentored more than 50 graduate students, many of whom cite him as the inspiration for their own success as teachers and researchers. In addition, Dr. Foote taught for many summers at the University of Montana's Biological Research Station on Flathead Lake. For 10 summers, he instilled his love of the west and a respect for the environment in hundreds of KSU students via class trips to the western United States and Mexico. His academic achievements were recognized with numerous awards including Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and Beta Beta Beta. He received the 'Outstanding Teaching Award' in 1987 and the Herbert Osborn Award in recognition of a lifetime of teaching, research and mentoring students in entomology and aquatic sciences in 2004. During his six decade career he published over 150 scientific papers on 17 different families of flies and has written book chapters on various groups of flies. Several new species of flies have been named in his honor. Dr. Foote was a generous man and contributed to the community as a founding member of the Kent Environmental Council serving as its president for 18 years. Upon retiring he donated his person library of scientific papers and specimens to the Carnegie Museum.

Of all of his many accomplishments, however, he was most proud of his family. His deep love for Anita, his wife of 60 years, was an inspiration to many. His wisdom, kindness and generosity touched many, but was most profoundly felt and appreciated by his children and grandchildren. He was the loving father of Lynnette Lawrence (Steve), Sheri Homany (Garry), Grant Foote Frericks (Matt) and Frank Foote (Tracy). He was the devoted and generous grandfather of Taryn Zobrist (Jeff), Abby Vidic, Emily Foote-Huth, Ben Foote-Huth, Graci Homany, Frank Foote, Jr., David Foote, Becca Bryant and Tyler Bryant. Dr. Foote (Papa) was deeply loved and cherished and will be deeply missed by all. His passion for learning, love of his family, and dedication to leaving the world a better place were the driving forces in his rich and wonderful life.

A celebration of his life is planned for August 2, 2014 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center. Memorial contributions may be made to: Benjamin Foote Ecology Lecture Series Endowment, Account #34155. Checks made payable to the Kent State University Foundation may be sent to Mindy Aleman, c/o Kent State Center for Gift & Estate Planning, PO Box 5190, Kent, OH 44242-0001; the Portage County Park District Association at http://portageparkdistrict.org (follow the 'Get Involved' Menu option to Donations); and the Robinson Visiting Nurse and Hospice, 6847 N. Chestnut St., Ravenna, Oh 44266-9916. The family would like to specifically thank Hospice caregivers Tia Riemenschneider, Carolyn Mitchell and Denise Dues for their gentle care and support of Ben and our family over the past five months.

(RC 7-13 & 14-14)

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  • This is the saddest news ever.  He was one of the best professors I ever had.  He loved what he did, and he made every class fun.  RIP Dr. Foote.  I'm so glad I had the opportunity to share Biological Field Studies trips with you and had you to teach me  to learn to have "love in my heart" for ALL of the invertebrates.  Even the "dreaded Schistosoma."  Thank you Dr. Foote.

     My condolences to Dr. Foote's family, of whom he also spoke lovingly in many classes.  Sincerely, Linda Frisbie Kern.