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Old 12-22-2009   #1
Student, Durango
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 9
George Foott Remembered

George Foott - Salida, Colorado

I just learned today that George Foott passed away after a brave fight with cancer three days ago.

George was a dear friend, incredible western genre painter, amateur historian, antique collector but more than anything he was a wonderful dependable kayaker. He was always available for a run down the waters of the Ark. Most of the boating community will know George, Jerry and WD as being the three guys that would be available for the beginner and intermediate boaters. They led many trips through Numbers, Fractions and Browns. They dug a lot of boaters out of that water as the “pups” were learning.

We hung together a lot. Our goals were around boating “all the time” forty days/summer and into the winter. We embraced the winter open waters punctuating with an annual New Years float in Salida. Everyone had to roll through the frigid water.

I learned to boat along side George. We spent hundreds of winter hours in the Salida Hot Springs Pool. On Sunday mornings we would finish with a breakfast at the Patio Pancake and tell tall boating stories. Those stories ranged from past trips to boat design, to boating personalities. I’m pleased that my last conversation with George two weeks ago soon turned to that familiar topic. He so loved kayaking. (He gutted Skull Rapid, straight on, sort of legendary!)

Finally, I just remembered that George and WD were so supportive and helpful teaching my son Micah to learn how to kayak. Micah took it up in the 6th grade. It was a tough sport for any father to teach and those guys took Micah under their wing and let him go. Micah is still boating and George never failed to ask how he was doing.

I will miss George Foott. He was a dependable boating friend that we counted on for many years. I know that many of you will remember him.

Thom. Schnellinger,
Craig, Colorado

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Old 12-23-2009   #2
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
Thanks for posting this Schnel. George was a great asset to the boating communities of Buena Vista and Salida, he will be missed.
I remember George and Jerry helping me attempt to pull my pinned boat from Bear Creek rapid at high water my first season. I didn't even know them before that, but they were quick to try and help. Once they learned that the pinned boat experience didn't scare me off, they (along with WD) were glad to be my unofficial/unpaid instructors for the next 2 seasons. Without their help I may not of stuck with boating. May he rest in peace.

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Old 12-24-2009   #3
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 158
Great post Schnel.
Thanks for helping us all to remember George. He came paddling with us in Ecuador and we are all lucky that we got to spend a week with such an wonderful man. A great kayaker, kind man, and amazing (but very humble artist). I had to learn from other people in his group that he did oil paintings that were truly incomparable to any I've ever seen.

We will all miss you George.

Darcy, Don, Larry.
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Old 12-26-2009   #4
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4
Hey, Thom, good to see your post. George was a personal hero of mine, and I am very devastated by our loss, not just to me, Preston, WD, Jerry, and the hundreds of other people that he touched in his remarkable life, but to the boating community in general. He took up boating late in life, and at first he didn't think he needed to branch much beyond his RPM because he was an old man; next thing he bought an i-3 because he wanted to learn how to do stern squirts, but he didn't need to go beyond that because he was an old man. Then he bought an S6F because he wanted to learn how to cartwheel.
I w
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Old 12-26-2009   #5
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4
I was there when George gutted Skull, not on purpose, but with style and a beautiful pirouette. I cut my teeth with George because we learned to kayak at the same time, and he was my inseparable companion as we worked our way up the levels. When it came time for our first run of Numbers and Royal Gorge, we did it together; neither one of us wanted to do it without the other.
George was never one to sit on the shoreline and watch; he lived his life as full as he could, and his remarkable strength and character endeared him to everyone he met. He will be missed beyond measure. Kim
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Old 12-27-2009   #6
Mike Harvey's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 805
Wow. Bad news. George was an inspiration as a younger boater to realize how much fun you can still have in your 70's when you are still equipped with stoke for life. I sorry to hear this and my thoughts are with his family.
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Old 12-29-2009   #7
Student, Durango
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 9
Memorial for George Foott, Saturday, Jan. 2, 1pm River Park in Salida.
Remember/celebrate the man, kayaker, artist, student of Colorado History and friend.

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