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BRUCE ELLINGTON FOOTE

April 7, 1947 February 29, 2020
BRUCE ELLINGTON FOOTE
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Obituary for BRUCE ELLINGTON FOOTE

My parents were the late “Pop” Archie and Thelma Foote. Mom gave me the name "Ellington" in the hopes that I would someday become a renowned musical artist like the late, great Duke Ellington. While that didn’t happen, I did have a love for music. Playing the piano was one of my favorite past times. I guess you could say music is what fed my soul. Singing, writing songs and enjoying a good hand-dance session definitely made my heart smile.

Receiving a strong education was very important to me. After graduating from W. S. Brooks High School in 1965, I attended Morgan State University. While there, I joined an amazing brotherhood, Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship, Inc. (which was founded at Morgan State University and, yes, I am proud of that). LOL Prior to graduation, I was drafted into the U. S. Army. I served from October 1968 through September 1971; honorably discharged as a Specialist 4. Most of my time in the military was spent overseas; Vietnam then Germany. While away, I became a proud father to Terrence Anthony Edwards. I was proud of my first-born. I returned to Morgan after rejoining the civilian life and earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics and then a Master’s in Economics from the University of Illinois-Urbana. I was blessed with the opportunity to study/research in Ghana for 6 months through a fellowship from the Department of State. While there I was introduced to the Annual Celebration of Kwanza. I fell in love with its history and principals, one Principal in particular, The Day of Nia (Purpose). I secretly told myself if I was ever blessed with a daughter, that would be her name. Well, a few years later Nia Khalilah arrived. I was definitely a proud father; I had my son and my daughter; life was good.

From there I made my career as an economist at the Library of Congress, retiring in 2011 after 36 years of service. While working there I met and married Deborah H. Foote. We enjoyed raising her son Michael Douglas Hairston together. Our house was full of animals. We had everything from rabbits, birds, fish and our favorite little pup, Izzy. We also had a mutual love for being near the water. We used to pack up the kids (Nia, Michael, Anneke and Trinity) and drive to Annapolis to check out the boat show. The kids would skip from boat to boat and pretend the biggest, most lavish one was theirs. I must admit I would secretly pretend right along with them. Well, for my 60th birthday, I didn’t have to pretend any longer. I treated myself to a Carver. I invited the family onto “Bay Bunny” and we set sail for the greatest birthday experience I could’ve ever imagined.

I loved living life to the fullest. I was always adventurous and a dare devil. The family always said that I was the silly one, but I dare to differ. As a youngster, I convinced my siblings and cousins to follow me into the woods on a hunt for Native Americans. No, we never found them, nor did we find any artifacts, but yet they still continued to follow me. (Shaking my head.) I traveled all around the world; often hopping on a plane to somewhere without telling a soul that I was leaving much more where I was going. (That wasn’t very smart, but I did tell you that I was a dare devil, right.) Vintage cars and Mercedes Benz’s were my passion. My favorite vintage vehicle was my blue 1966 Thunderbird.

I always wanted to have a singing group. After the passing of our dear grandmother, Momma Clara, instead of sitting around being sad, I started playing the piano and asked some of my siblings to join me in song. From that we formed the “Archie K’s.” The group extended to include cousins and the name was later changed to the “Wings of Faith.” We praised the Lord in song at various church events throughout Calvert County and the DC Metropolitan area. We also visited the sick at their home, in hospitals and nursing homes to comfort through song.

More than anything, I loved my family and they loved me. No one wanted to admit it, but I know I was everyone’s favorite. My nieces and nephews knew they could call on me for anything. Offering them the kind of love and affection I offered my kids meant everything to me. I wanted to give my family the same kind of love and devotion that my Dad gave me. Oh, how I idolized him. (It gave me great joy to take him and his brother Phil to The Million Man March in 1995.) We were making memories and creating history together. Now my siblings? Oh, we had a ball. I remember treating two of them to a Jackson 5 concert one year. Watching them enjoy Michael and his brothers dancing and singing in their bell bottom pants and afros was a highlight in our sibling memory bank. Catching these moments on film became a hobby for me. I purchased a Nikon camera and carried it everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. When my niece, Trinity, graduated from college, we took a trip to Atlanta to support her. I took so many pictures that the family started calling me “paparazzi.” I used that same camera to capture the moment we snuck into The Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball Celebration for our 44th President, Barack Obama. Oh yes, and don’t forget about the cousins. We loved each other more like brothers and sisters than cousins. Each of them will have their own story to tell. Some of them you probably shouldn’t believe, but you’ll get a good a laugh. Ha, Ha. I could go on and on, because we have such fond memories. Creating special moments was something that Mom instilled in us.

On June 11, 2013, I received the call that I had been anticipating for months. Nia was ready to deliver my grandchild, but what I wasn’t expecting was being her ride to the hospital. I’ve never been so nervous and confused. I actually pulled into a college campus and tried to drop her off. Being a Grandfather or Pop Pop (as they affectionately named me) meant so much. Playing the piano with Karter, hunting for bears with Krista, racing bikes with Montae and learning the “stanky leg” from Laura and Queenie, they wanted to keep me hip. These grandkids of mine gave me life. I remember a doctor asking me one day what inspires me to keep going and without hesitation, I said “my Grandbabies.”

My family will surely miss me. That I guarantee. Those left to share and cherish my memories are my wife, Debbie; children, Terrence (Dovica), Nia (Keith), Melissa and Kimberly (David); grandchildren, Karter, Krista, Kemontae, Queenie, Parish, Jr., David, Jr., Laura, Shamara, and Dwayne; siblings, Basil Gray, Beverly Thompson (Darrell), Yvonne Foote, Philip Foote, Sr. (Francine), Karen Brooks (Kevin), Elaine Romeo (Charles, Jr.) and Melanie Davis (Sean); one Goddaughter, LaKeesha (Alan); nieces and nephews, Dion (Kay), Philip, Jr., Anneke (Gerald), Anthony (Ebony), Tonee, Shantonia, Kenneth, Trinity, Tiffany, Erica (Eric), Shanae, Charles III and Terrell; uncles, Irvin Beverly (Eilene), Francis Beverly (Helen), and Malcolm Beverly (Barbara); aunts, Rita Alleyne and Eliza Foote; and a host of other relatives and friends. Michael preceded me in death.

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Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

13

Mar

10:00 AM 3/13/2020 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 3/13/2020 11:00:00 AM
Greater Faith Ministries

2400 Solomons Island Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Greater Faith Ministries
2400 Solomons Island Road Prince Frederick 20678 MD
United States

Service

Friday

13

Mar

11:00 AM 3/13/2020 11:00:00 AM
Greater Faith Ministries

2400 Solomons Island Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Greater Faith Ministries
2400 Solomons Island Road Prince Frederick 20678 MD
United States

Cemetery Details

Friday

13

Mar

1:45 PM 3/13/2020 1:45:00 PM
Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery

11301 Crain Highway
Cheltenham, MD 20623

Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery
11301 Crain Highway Cheltenham 20623 MD
United States
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