SAVOY — Joel Lindsley Foote III, 91, died at home Thursday (Aug. 8, 2019).
Lin was born Jan 11, 1928, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Joel Lindsley Foote Jr. and Beth Eliza (Brainard) Foote.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Alice (Tanner) Foote; and siblings, Betty Foote, Mabel (Foote) Hansen and Clayton Foote.
He is survived by his sister, Faith (Foote) McAllister; children, Robert Foote (Cheryl Hughes) and Karen Foote Retzer (Mike); grandson, Jonathan Cohen (Marji Smith); and great-grandchildren, Cora and Lachlan Cohen.
Lin grew up on a truck farm in Brooklyn Heights, Ohio. He loved sports and played softball and football in a nearby vacant lot. He attended Cuyahoga Heights High School where he lettered in football, basketball and track, and played cornet in the band. In 1993, he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.
After high school, Lin enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he spent 10 months in electronics school, reaching the rank of second-class petty officer, then was assigned to the aircraft carrier Coral Sea. He was honorably discharged in May 1948. With the GI Bill, he attended Miami University of Ohio, graduating in 1952, Phi Beta Kappa.
He married his high school sweetheart, Alice Lydia Tanner, on June 16, 1951.
After five years teaching high school in Wilmington and Springfield, Ohio, Lin earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Case Institute of Technology in 1960. After a National Science Foundation fellowship for postdoctoral work in biochemistry at University of Michigan, he joined the faculty at Western Michigan Unversity in 1965. His research involved analysis of lipid components of the blood and aorta and their relationship to diet. He was active in Faculty Senate and the faculty union. He took special interest in the physician assistant program, a study group for minority students, and affirmative action issues. He retired in 1989.
Lin was active in politics. He ran for county commissioner and volunteered for many campaigns. He was a regional leader for the aid-in-dying initiative, which was on the Michigan ballot in 1998. He initiated and was first chairman of the Kalamazoo Environmental Concerns Committee. He was a founding member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Portage, Mich.
In 2008, Lin and Alice moved to Urbana. Lin and Alice enjoyed travelling, mostly in the United States, Canada and Europe. One special trip was to Gabon to visit daughter Karen who was in the Peace Corps. Family vacations included tent camping and canoeing. Lin was a lifelong game-player, especially chess and bridge. He loved classical music, particularly opera, and enjoyed cooking and writing about his life.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign.
Memorial gifts may be made to Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Southwest Michigan in Portage, Southern Poverty Law Center, Compassion & Choices.
Arrangements are by Heath & Vaughn, Champaign.