Theron Lee “Swede” Foote, age 81, of Laclede, Idaho, and Casa Grande, Ariz., passed away on Dec. 31, 2017, in Casa Grande, after having a heart attack.
Swede was born Feb. 23, 1936, in Worthington, Minnesota. He was the second son of four boys, born to Lawrence Oswald Foote and Elsie Lora McFadden.
The family moved to Los Angeles, Calif., before Swede was 2 years old then moved from California to Arizona and New Mexico where his mother’s family lived. The family moved to Mountain Home, Idaho, when Elsie married Frank Moore in 1943. While Frank was overseas during World War II, the family moved to northern Idaho, where Swede’s grandparents, “Slim” and Ruby Foote, bought property and settled in Laclede. While in Laclede, Swede was always available to work for several people and often lived with those who employed him. The family also lived in Spokane, Wash., for a while in 1950-1951.
Swede attended school in Laclede, Spokane, and Sandpoint, Idaho.
Swede joined the Air Force when he was 17 and was stationed in several places including Spokane, Biloxi, Miss.; Bangor, Maine; and Japan.
In 1954 Swede married Marian “Berta” Pennington and they had four children.
Swede worked as a brick mason after leaving the military. He and his family lived in Idaho, Montana, California, and Nevada before moving from Las Vegas, Nev., to Anchorage, Alaska, in the spring of 1964. In Anchorage he continued working as a masonry contractor, eventually owning his own business, Foote and Sons, for several years.
He married Marnice Mielke-Diggins in 1976 in Reno, Nev. In 1976 Swede and Marnice built the Klondyke Bar and Cafe built in Laclede, and Swede’s mother ran it until they moved from Anchorage to Laclede. While in Laclede, Swede and Marnice were very involved in the community. They started the annual Laclede Family Days and Fourth of July parade, that included a huge celebration at the Klondyke, with food, games, prizes, and fireworks at the end of the day. Everyone in town was welcome. Swede and Marnice have always been involved in many other activities for the community throughout the year.
Marnice and Swede purchased his grandparents’ property and continued to live there. They built a new home and moved the original house to another site on the property, keeping many original outbuildings. Swede always considered it home.
Swede loved the outdoors — boating, water skiing, fishing, hunting, and riding and racing snow machines. He and Marnice also became very involved in golfing, hosting many golf tournaments both on Catalina Island and at Glacier National Park, some for over 40 years. Swede also enjoyed racing RC trucks and four-wheeling. Marnice and Swede loved hosting get-togethers at their home and in other locations.
Swede is survived by his loving wife, Marnice Foote of Casa Grande, and Laclede; son Jeff and his wife Debbie Foote of Idaho; his daughter, Nancy Lemke Mosley of Fairbanks, Alaska; his stepsons, Bobby Diggins and his wife Kim of Mesa, Arizona, and Don Diggins of Anchorage, Alaska; his daughter-in-law, Gayle Broste Foote; his grandchildren, John Foote Jr., Julia Wood, Ronnie Mosley, and Seth Diggins; his great-grandchildren, Skylar Wood and Oliver Diggins; his brothers, Larry Foote and his wife Barbara, and Jim Foote and wife Diane; his sisters, Sandra Moore, and Susan Lee and her husband Lawrence; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Swede was preceded in death by his parents; stepfather, Frank Moore; his sons, John Robert and Theron Jay Foote; his grandchildren, Jennifer, Justin, and Jillian Lemke; and his brothers Elden Foote and Franklin Moore Jr.
Swede always gave his best no matter what he was doing. He lived life to the fullest and often by the “Do as I say not as I do” motto. He wanted the best for everyone. He and Marnice were quick to help anyone in need and tried to teach others good life lessons.
A celebration of life will be held this summer in Laclede, Idaho.