Stephen Williams Foote, 80, died in his sleep on March 8th at home in Damariscotta, Maine. Born and raised in West Hartford, CT, one of four sons of the late Dwight and Helene Foote, Steve quickly moved forward with plans to follow a vocation in the Episcopal Church. After graduating from Bard College and General Theological Seminary in New York he took his first post as curate at St. Paul’s, Wallingford, CT. Within a year, Steve had secured a new job here in Maine, a state he dearly loved and where he had vacationed with family as a child - and he’s been in Maine ever since. S. Mary the Virgin, Falmouth, was Steve’s first assignment where he spent nearly seventeen years, first as curate and then rector. The next thirteen years were spent working with the Episcopal Diocese of Maine in Portland as Archdeacon. During those years he became more deeply engaged with Portland, especially its history and architecture. He served many organizations such as Maine Preservation and Greater Portland Landmarks, and his own historic home in the West End is considered a tiny gem of the Queen Anne style.
Steve completed his time in Portland with another thirteen years of service as the Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Luke on State Street. These were very memorable and productive years for him, surrounded by friends, and shared with his partner, Jonathan Pelletier. Those who knew Steve well know how many different roles he preformed with amiability and skill - administrator, counselor, pastor and preacher, mentor, fundraiser, and more. Steve’s lifelong interest in architecture guided and inspired his efforts in a successful and much-needed renovation at the cathedral which included lighting, flooring, seating, and the historic pipe organ. Shortly before announcing his retirement in 2003, Steve engaged the help of Barba and Wheelock, architects, to design a unique Neo-classically inspired year-round home in Bremen where he subsequently spent many happy years engaged in woodworking, gardening and hospitality together with Jonathan, and their two dogs.
As a good public speaker, and someone who really enjoyed preaching, Steve used to say shortly after retiring, “Lord, deliver me from another undelivered sermon!” But, soon he had a few more opportunities as he stepped part-time out of retirement to take two more brief and meaningful assignments within
the church, first as interim rector at St. Bartholomew’s, Yarmouth, and then as interim rector for two years at St. Mark’s in Waterville. Steve made many new friends during these years and also after his health began a decline and he moved to Damariscotta. Failing eyesight kept him from his beloved letter writing, woodcarving and reading during the past three years but, as always, Steve Foote remained cheerful and enjoyed his quiet life at home with Joshua Theriault, his godson and caregiver, and his beloved Jack Russell Terrier, Lily. Special mention should be made of The Rev. John VanSiclen and Ralph York who were very kind and faithful during difficult times.
Stephen W. Foote is survived by three brothers, Dwight, Daniel and Jonathan, and three nieces and two nephews. He is remembered by many as a man of good heart, a sense of humor, compassionate wisdom, and quiet devotion. He had many talents and used them well, and he will be missed. May he rest from his labors and be at peace.
A memorial celebration of his life will take place on the 15th of April at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Portland at 11 a.m. The service will be followed by the interment of ashes in the Bishop’s Garden and a reception of refreshment in the upper hall of the cathedral. Any memorial gift donations, especially in lieu of flowers, should be sent to the cathedral office and earmarked for the music program.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com.
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