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George M. Foote

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George Messenger Foote, Sr.
200px
City Judge, Alexandria, Louisiana
In office
1955–1985
Succeeded byEdward E. Roberts, Jr.[1]
Personal details
Born(1919-11-04)November 4, 1919
Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, USA
DiedJune 21, 2010(2010-06-21) (aged 90)
Place of death missing
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Antonia "Toni" Voelker Foote (married c. 1945-2010, his death)
RelationsJudge William A. Culpepper (brother-in-law) Judge Elizabeth Erny Foote (daughter-in-law)
ChildrenEvelyn Neill Marriott

George M. Foote, Jr.
Edward S. Foote
W. Ross Foote (retired state district judge)
A. Lee Foote
R. Hale Foote

Ray A. Foote
ParentsHenry Dade Foote, Sr.
and Lois Jeannette Ray Foote
ResidenceAlexandria Garden District
Alma materBolton High School

Washington and Lee University

Tulane University Law School
OccupationJudge; Attorney
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Marine Corps
RankColonel
Battles/warsWorld War II Pacific Theater of Operations

George Messenger Foote, Sr. (November 4, 1919 – June 21, 2010), was a 30-year city judge and civic figure in his native Alexandria, Louisiana.

Background[edit | edit source]

Foote was one of two sons and two daughters of Henry Dade Foote, Sr. (1882-1941), and the former Lois Jeannette Ray (1886-1974), who resided in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, but moved to Alexandria prior to 1919. Lois Foote was a native of Americus in Sumter County in southwestern Georgia.[2] Foote's brother, Henry, Jr. (1912-1955), was born in Hattiesburg and died in Alexandria; a sister, Ray Foote Schlaben (1914-2006), was born in Hattiesburg and lived after her marriage in Edinburg in Hidalgo County in south Texas, where she is interred.[3][4]

The obituary of his friend, former Alexandria Mayor W. George Bowdon, Jr., indicates that Foote and Bowdon first met c. 1935, by which time Foote was a student at Bolton High School, from which he graduated in 1936, three years before Bowdon. Foote worked as a lifeguard during summers in the middle 1930s at Magnolia Park in southern Grant Parish north of Alexandria. According to copy desk editor Wallace Anthony (1936-2010) of The Alexandria Daily Town Talk, the chilly waters of Hudson Creek at Magnolia Park were dammed to form a large swimming pool. A bathhouse, snack bar, and as many as thirty summer houses were subsequently added. The park had shade from pine and beech trees. The pool had concrete walls. A wooden-gated dam included a large wooden water wheel placed as it developed for aesthetic reasons.[5] Foote is listed in the 1940 U.S. Census at the age of twenty, still single, as living in Alexandria.[6]

George Foote graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington in western Virginia.[7] During World War II, Foote served in the United States Marine Corps, with two and a half years in the Pacific Theater of Operations. He attained the rank of colonel.[8] While still a captain, he was awarded the Silver Star for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on July 21–22, 1944, while as part of the Third Amphibian Tractor Battalion, he engaged in action against Japanese forces during the assault on enemy-held Guam in the Marianas Islands.[9]

Legal career[edit | edit source]

Foote received his legal training after the war at Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans and was admitted to the practice of law in 1947. For three years he was a Rapides Parish assistant district attorney.[7] He became the full-time city judge in 1955, a post he held until 1985.[8] Judge Foote was particularly known for his commitment to juvenile justice and his role in the founding of the Renaissance Home for Youth, a juvenile offender facility located west of Alexandria.[8] Joining Foote in 1972 in co-founding the Renaissance Home were Guy E. Humphries, Jr., a Louisiana 9th Judicial District Court judge who died three months before Judge Foote, and Dr. Glenn Earl Bryant (1922–2003), a former pastor of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in downtown Alexandria.[10]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

At the First United Methodist Church of Alexandria, Foote was a long-term member, the chairman of the building committee that constructed the sanctuary on Jackson Street, and a Sunday school teacher. He was affiliated with Rotary International and the Boy Scouts of America.[8]

Foote's widow is the former Antonia "Toni" Voelker, whose family in 1936 became the John Deere dealer in Alexandria.[11] The Footes resided on Georges Lane in the Alexandria Garden District. There are seven Foote children: Evelyn Neill Marriott (David); George M. Foote (Jane); Edward S. Foote; William Ross Foote (Elizabeth); A. Lee Foote (Naomi); R. Hale Foote (Beth); and Ray A. Foote (Diana). Foote's surviving sister is Jane Ann Foote Culpepper (born c. 1926), surviving widow of Judge William A. Culpepper[12] of Alexandria, who served one four-year term on the state 9th Judicial District Court and twenty-two years on the Louisiana Circuit Court of Appeal for the Third District, part of the time as chief judge. He also instituted the United Way of America in Alexandria and in 1973 chaired the Alexandria Charter Commission.[13]

Judge Foote also had twenty-eight surviving grandchildren and twenty-two great-grandchildren.[8] The Footes' oldest child and only daughter, Neill, and her husband, David Cannon Marriott, are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Salt Lake City, Utah. They have ten children. An eleventh child, Judge Foote's namesake granddaughter, Georgia Marriott (1980-2002), was struck by a truck and killed while she was riding her bicycle near the Indiana University Bloomington campus, where she was studying violin.[14]

Foote's son, W. Ross Foote, served for thirteen years prior to 2004 on the Louisiana 9th Judicial District Court prior to returning to his Alexandria law firm, Smith Foote. Since 2010, Foote's wife, George Foote's daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Erny Foote, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana, is a judge on the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, an appointee of U.S. President Barack H. Obama sponsored by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. Prior to her appointment to the federal judiciary, Elizabeth Foote was engaged in the full-time practice of law as a partner at Smith Foote. From 1978 to 1979, she was a law clerk for Judge William Culpepper.[15]

Judge Foote was a close friend and Bolton classmate of Howard B. Gist, Jr., the Alexandria city attorney during three municipal administrations prior to 1973. Like Foote, Gist attendede Washington and Lee and the Tulane Law School. Both were veterans of the War in the Pacific but in different branches of the military. Both were avid fishermen and hunters in the community.[16][17]

Alexandria businessman Edwin Caplan said upon the news of Judge Foote's death at the age of ninety: "He made a difference in everything he did and every life he touched. [If one's] purpose in life was to set a good example ... George Foote certainly excels at that."[18]


Others articles of the Topics Biography AND Louisiana : James L. Cathey Jr., Joe Cornelius Sr., Morgan W. Walker Sr., Monty M. Wyche, Cecil C. Lowe, Paul M. Davis Jr., Bo Ackal

Others articles of the Topics Biography AND United States Marine Corps : Gerry P. Little, Bob Tuke, Willis Ricketts, Phillip Stackhouse

Others articles of the Topic Biography : Nina West, Sara Schätzl, Morgan W. Walker Sr., J. H. Netterville, John Henry Baker, Mark Biltz, Anasuya Sengupta

Others articles of the Topic Louisiana : Cecil C. Lowe, Morgan W. Walker Sr., Howard B. Gist Jr., J. Frank McInnis, Hoffman L. Fuller, Larry C. Brewer, Dan Hollingsworth

Others articles of the Topic United States Marine Corps : Bob Tuke, Gerry P. Little, Phillip Stackhouse, Willis Ricketts

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "In Memoriam: Alexandria City Court Judge Edward E. Roberts, Jr. (died 2001)". lasc.org. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  2. "Lois Jeannette Ray". records.ancestryl.com. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  3. "Ray Foote Schlaben". findagrave.com. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  4. "Henry Dade Foote". records.ancestry.com. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  5. Wallace Anthony (August 16, 2003). "Magnolia Park brings back memories". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  6. "George Foote from Alexandria, LA". archives.com. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "In Memoriam: Retired Alexandria City Court Judge George M. Foote". lasc.org. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 "George Messenger Foote (1919-2010)". The Alexandria Daily Town Talk. Archived from the original on June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  9. "George M. Foote: Awards and Citations, Silver Star". projects.militarytimes.com. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  10. Richard P. Sharkey, "Retired Judge Humphries, Co-founder of Renaissance Home, dies in Alexandria", The Alexandria Town Talk, March 23, 2010
  11. "E. S. Voelker Company". esvoelker.com. Archived from the original on May 30, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  12. Judge William A. Culpepper's first wife was Thelma Gilham Polk Culpepper (1921-2000).
  13. "9th JDC Holds 2002 Opening of Court Ceremony" (PDF). lasc.org. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  14. "Rachel Sterzer, "New auxiliary leader: 'Stand forth' and share testimony of faith: New leader is fortified by her knowledge of the gospel", July 6, 2013". ldschurcnnewsarchive.com. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  15. "LSU Law Center Honors 2012 Distinguished Alumnus and Distinguished Achievement Honorees at Awards Brunch". law.lsu.edu. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  16. "Howard Battle Gist, Jr". The Alexandria Town Talk. August 21, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  17. It is unclear if Judge Foote is related to the late southern author Shelby Foote, a native of Greenville, Mississippi. Shelby Foote had the middle name "Dade"; so did Shelby's father and Judge Foote's father. There was also a "George M. Foote" (1873-1935) who served prior to 1920 as the mayor of Gulfport, Mississippi.
  18. "Judge Foote Passed Away, June 22, 2010". KALB-TV. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.


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