Frederick Foote, 56, long-time resident of Mesa, Arizona died
peacefully at home on January 5, 2011 after a long battle with
complications related to Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. He was born
October 1, 1954 in Riverdale, Maryland, the youngest son of Jewett
Jerome Foote and Fannie "Pearl" Parcell Foote. He was raised in
Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania a where he graduated High School from
Central Columbia. He attended Penn State and majored in Aerospace
Engineering. During his time at Penn State he was president of Kappa
Delta Rho fraternity, Chairman of the inter-fraternity Hershey Dance
Marathon, Rush Chairman, and held a number of other offices. He
began his career in the Aerospace Industry in 1978 as an intern for
Hughes Helicopters in Culver City, California. From 1982-1985 he was
employed by the LOM Corporation in Traverse City, Michigan and in
1985 he accepted a position with McDonnell Douglas in Culver City,
California. In 1987 he transferred to Mesa, Arizona with Hughes
Helicopters where he stayed through the merger with McDonnell
Douglas, later to become The Boeing Company. He was instrumental in
the NASA Ames Wind Tunnel testing of the Apache Helicopter and was a
highly regarded test engineer in the Rotorcraft fatigue and
structural testing field. He is preceded in death by his mother and
father, Jewett and Pearl Foote; his brother, Jay Foote; his
loyal Service Dog, Boomer. He is survived in life by his
wife, Tracey Lynn Hainsworth Foote; his children, Nathaniel Lee
Foote, Hannah Rebecca Foote; his step-son, Jacob Cecil Swisher; his
sister, Caroline Rebecca Foote Broadt of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.
He was a man of many interests, which included: horseback riding in
the Superstition Mountains, dog training, collecting various
antiquities, and entertaining his family and friends with his many
creative insights and imaginative stories! He was a man of great
courage, perseverance, strength, determination, intelligence,
humility, humor and great wit. He was a very private man, a good
man, and he led a good life. His treasured legacy is to be found in
his character and the family he leaves behind. We celebrate his
spirit and are dedicated to nurturing his precious and much loved
"To all those who have followed Lee and Boomer on our
website; this was the last email we got from Lee followed by our
Our last reply to Lee
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2010
- We are so very sad. Tears are running down my cheeks as I
type. We are all praying for you and your family. Is there
anything that we can do for you or your family? Please do not
hesitate to ask. Words cannot express the love we have for you
and your family. You are an inspiration to so many.
you have the pictorial memory of Boomer done, please forward and
we will post on site.
God Bless - Fredericka and Lucy
Sent: Saturday, December 25, 2010
good friends Fredericka and Lucy,
time has come like Boomer's. I think it's poetic. My disorder is
very rare, but I'm certain that he (and you ) gave me two extra
years of life. They were two very difficult years from the
standpoint of the physical misery of my condition, but Boomer and
I together overcame many of those limitations and drew a large
crowd of admirers. He's FWF's best boy. We had a
Christmas Eve Dinner tonight and many family and friends asked if
we would be putting together a pictorial memory of his life. So
many people want one that we agreed. The reason for our dinner
was to eventually let our close friends and family know that my
wife Tracey and I have transferred my medical care to Hospice.
Note from Fredericka:
I hope all those
reading this post will say a prayer for the full recovery of good
health for Boomer's owner.
Lee, is a
good soul, and we all know that "With God nothing shall be
impossible." While you are praying ask God to
family and Boomer too. He is a great dog. (maybe even an angel in
Sent: Sunday, January 24, 2010
Subject: Re: How are you?
You are so kind to inquire, and I'm so thrilled
to hear from you!
Our family is wonderful (I don't know how I
deserve all their love), and I'm struggling a lot but hanging in
there thanks to a benevolent Lord. Why is it that he/she at times
seems to look after the unworthy like me rather than people that
we know in need and warrent attention? I guess that's always been
the great mystery, far beyond our ability of understanding. We're
sure glad that he put you on this Earth, and we pray that you and
your family are well. I imagine that you've touched the lives of
thousands of families just like ours, and they think of you often
with fondness as we do.
Boomer is a true blessing as you know. We get
so many questions in public that we wonder if you get any calls or
stories. I've never seen anything that creates smiles on human
faces more than the sight of Boomer. God blessed me with a
terminal disorder, linked me to an Angel (you) that breeds Angels
(Boomers), and set me loose. I can say that because I visited a
co-worker in a Scottsdale Hospital on Friday. He had a stroke
last Sunday, paralyzing the right side of his face, and leaving
him speechless and somewhat unresponsive. His friends were
wondering if he could recognize them. When Boomer and I walked in
he room and walked up to the bed, his eyes sparkled, there was an
undoubtable smile, and he 'mouthed' "Boomer". I knew in that
moment that he would be OK.
So... How am I? I'm at the crossroads of the
worst times and the best times of my life. I can readily accept
the bad because when it happens God sends me the best, like you
I've attached a photo taken yesterday with me
on oxygen surrounded by the family that you've been a big part of
supporting. My wife Tracey took the photo, so we'll get her in
the next one. She may be too beautiful for the camera to capture.
Your room here is ready any time. Lee F
Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Subject: Re: Boomer
Everything is WONDERFUL here. I wanted you to
know that Boomer is touring the White House Friday morning. I'll
let you know how it turned out when we return in two weeks.
Lee & Boomer S.D.
Sent: Saturday, November 08, 2008
Subject: Re: Boomer S.D.
I know that I don't have to tell you what it's
like to sit comfortably, look them in the eyes, and thank them for
their compassion. That big boy comes up and lets you know he
wants his chest scratched for a long time, and you do so while
watching his the satisfaction mirrored in is face. You slide down
to the floor in front of your favorite chair. He nestles up to
your right side and you watch TV while enjoying his huge warmth
and scratching him to his delight.
Sent: Friday, November 07, 2008
Subject: Re: Boomer S.D.
Lee, this brought me to tears.
We are praying for you, that God heals you and you live a very
very long time; I think Boomer is more than a dog, I really
think he is an angel. Angels can take any form. God sent Boomer
Love and prayers,
Your Sister in Christ,
Sent: Friday, November 07, 2008
Subject: Boomer S.D.
I wanted to share with you that I have been
going to Mesa Arizona's Banner Baywood Hospital for quite some
time for weekly infusions of a drug called Aralast, in hopes of
keeping me alive. I think you know that. We go every Monday
Boomer carries my O2, as you know, and is the
perfect gentleman and companion. The few Monday morning ATU
regular patients say hello to Boomer, while the greater group of
folks in the lobby watch in awe.
I recently arrived at the hospital alone.
Boomer had a few days of an upset stomach, which turned out to be
fine. I then traveled without my best friend.
I'd like to share with you that I was
recognized by so many people not for myself, but for the lack of
my companion. EVERYONE that knew Boomer came and asked me if he
was OK, or if there was anything they could do. I assured them
that he was fine, but at that moment I realized that in my
travels, through third party discussions or rumors, many people
new Boomer's name, but not mine.
You bring specialty into the world when a man
passes on and the overwhelming question is 'who gets the dog?'
That's not true in my case because my wife and children could
never part with their best friend.
For all of us that have a fulfillment in our
lives that we wouldn't have but for your efforts, our sincere
thanks. If you ever need help, I could only wish that Boomer was
at your side in a second. I think you know how I must feel that
he is beside me, at home or in public, 24/7.
He is awesome, and my best friend.
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008
Subject: An update on Boomer who turned three on May
I wanted to let you know that Boomer has helped
to extend my life. If you don't remember. I have a terminal
genetic lung disease and Boomer has been carrying my oxygen tanks
wherever we go for quite some time now. We are inseparable.
Defying all advice, my wife and I took our two young children on a
vacation to San Francisco last week. Of course I don't go
ANYWHERE without Boomer. US Airways was kind enough to grant
Boomer and I 3 seats in the coach bulkhead row, charging me for
only my seat. That gave us plenty of room. It was Boomer's first
flight since our Aunt brought him to Arizona at 9 weeks old. He
did fine. We boarded the plane last. I wish I had a picture of
the first class passenger's faces as he walked down the aisle.
The pilot's came out of the cockpit before we exited to make a
point of meeting him.
My oxygen supply company had twelve M6 tanks
(Boomer carries two at a time) waiting in our hotel room at
Fisherman's Wharf. The weather was nice and cool, and we could
walk to most attractions. Boomer enjoyed the Bay Aquarium, the
pier restaurants, and the ferry ride to Alcatraz for a three hour
I think I sent you a photo of Boomer and the
dwarf Dopey at Disneyland in December,. I'm attaching a photo of
Boomer and I at Alcatraz last week.
Second to my family, you've provided me with
the best friend that I've ever had. Most people nowadays with
what they call 'service dogs' are inexperienced, untrained, and
don't leave home because they aren't comfortable in handling their
animals in public, no matter the size. The animal stays home as
comfort to them. I still work full time as a senior manager at
Boeing. Boomer is with me always, and now at 190 pounds, could
never be physically controlled by any individual in my state of
health, or should need to be. That's the breeding and training.
The breeding has certainly proven to be fantastic, because the
training has been so straight-forward.
I'm attaching a photo of Boomer and I at
Alcatraz. If you've never been there, it's a wonderful tour. It
makes me wonder how many places that the fine animals that you
breed have been before you? I think that a breeder such as
yourself should consider those thoughts as a great testimonial
to your accomplishments.
I, my family, and my loved ones, will never be
able to express our sincere thanks for our Boomer.
It was Friday, Boomer's second day
in the park and a beautiful morning. My wife Tracey, Nate (9), and
Hannah (7) left the hotel 2 hours before us. Boomer and I entered
California Adventure and I called Tracey. She said to meet them at
the Tower of Terror Hotel. No problem. On the way we met Pluto.
Asked one of the park photog's to take a picture of Pluto and
Boomer. Pluto took one look and ran, leaving a trail of pee as he
went. I think those guys in those costumes are deaf mutes, because
there wasn't a sound. Got to the tower of terror. Up walks one of
the seven dwarfs, with many, many people watching. Boomer is
wearing the O2 vest clearly marked 'DO NOT PET'. The dwarf reaches
out to pet Boomer. Boomer recedes as a good service dog would. The
dwarf persists, reaching forward to pet Boomer. The dwarf pets
Boomer and turns to wave to the crowd who are all going Ooh and Aah,
enjoying the perceived bonding. Boomer head-butted the dwarf in the
ass! I quickly explained that the vest was clearly marked 'DO NOT
PET', and asked if that is why his name was 'DOPEY'? The crowd
roared. I still think those guys in those costumes are deaf mutes,
because their wasn't a sound.
I hope you remember me. My 'Boomer' is a fawn male fluffy born at
FWF May 30, 2005. He's my service dog and carries two O2 bottles.
He is the delight of my wife and I and three children. At 2 and 1/2
in the one seventies weight range, and both lean and agile. When we
go to the vet for check-ups, they don't want to give him back. When
we drop him off at the groomer's, they don't want to give him back.
I still work full time at Boeing Rotorcraft in Mesa Az, and believe
that Boomer is the only dog with a badge to enter a Boeing facility
worldwide. (Boeing employs about 140,000 people internationally).
Boomer's reputation on the Mesa campus is becoming a thing of
immense pride to me, to Boomer, and to our co-workers who look
forward to seeing him working every day.