FOAT, Gene Derry

February 5, 1945 – September 25, 2019

Gene Foat passed away in the Foothills hospital on September 25, 2019 due to complications from a farming accident. He was born in Calgary on February 5, 1945 to Sidney and Eleanora Foat. He grew up on a mixed farm in the Cremona area and loved the farming lifestyle growing up. He was active with cattle but all things mechanical really captivated him. He was not always the strongest student but had a lot of fun causing mischief while he was in school. It was suggested that maybe Grade 11 wasn’t for him and he should try an alternate path. He went to Technical School in Calgary to earn his Automotive Mechanics license and Tech in Edmonton to earn his Heavy-Duty Mechanics license. He graduated at the top of his class in both schools. After graduating he worked as a mechanic for John Deere, for A&B pipelines, and at R Angus in Calgary. His last mechanic job was constructing a dam in Newfoundland where he left the ends of 2 fingers under an end dump scraper. That was enough for him and he changed course to return to farming.

Gene went farming with his brothers Irvine and Roy. They had a mixed farm with cattle, hay, and grain. They even branched out into pigs. But no matter what, he wouldn’t go into chickens or sheep. While farming he met the love of his life Joan Kramer. They courted for a while and he eventually got tired of moving her from apartment to apartment in Calgary, so he proposed instead. They were married in February of 1974 and were soon blessed with 2 boys. Gene worked hard to build a life for his family and to provide them with opportunities that he never had. It was with great pride that later in his life his son Michael came home to farm with him.

One of Gene’s passions was in bettering the lives of young people. He employed his nephews and many other students from the nearby Cremona School. He made sure they worked hard and taught them new and unique ways to swear but he wished the best for all of them. After he started his partnership with his brother, Irvine, they began to employ Agricultural Trainees. Over the course of his farming life he employed 29 different trainees from different countries who were always treated like a part of the family. Gene was active in the Cremona 4-H club where he acted as beef leader. He was the President of the Ag Society during the fundraising and building process of the Cremona Arena. He didn’t want his sons to have to push snow off the outdoor rink like he had to.

Gene excelled at feeding cattle all his life but later on he learned to cook for people as well. He went from a person who couldn’t understand why there was no chicken in the Shake and Bake package to an expert at grilling. For many years he barbecued roasts for the Cremona Day supper. He would also barbecue steaks for anybody who happened to drive in the yard. Many times, even during snowstorms.

Gene and Joan would travel in later years, cruises in the Caribbean or off the coast of Mexico, and trips to Europe to visit past trainees. They planned to tour around Alberta in the summer of 2019 before he had his accident. Gene was a farmer right up to the end. He eased back and was only feeding 30 cows, but it got him out of the house every day. Unfortunately, he had a run in with a cow while tagging her calf as he couldn’t quite move like he used to.

Gene will be missed by his wife Joan and 2 sons. Mike (Heather) and sons Jacob, Isaac, and Thomas. Phil (Michelle) and daughters Kyra and Kenzie. He is survived by his brother Irvine and his sisters Irma and Dwila as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents, his brother Roy and his nephew Bradley.

A Celebration of Gene’s Life will be held on Monday, October 7, 2019 at 11:00 am at Cremona Congregational Church (202 – 2 Street West, Cremona, AB). Memorial tributes in Genes honour can be made to the Cremona Arena building fund.

Arrangements entrusted to Cochrane Country Funeral Home, Alison (Allie) Van Arnam, Funeral Director. Ph: 403-932-1039.

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  1. On October 1, 2019 at 9:36 pm Randall Adams Said:

    Our sincere condolences for your families loss.

  2. On October 1, 2019 at 9:53 pm Bruce & Carol Smith Said:

    So sorry to hear of Gene’s passing. He was very dedicated to the betterment of the Shorthorn Cattle Association and served it on various projects. He was always friendly and willing to share his knowledge with others. He will be missed. Bruce & Carol Smith

  3. On October 1, 2019 at 10:12 pm Dr Dean Allan Said:

    Offering my sincere condolences to the Foat family.

  4. On October 2, 2019 at 9:19 am Peter and Susan Newsome Said:

    We send deepest condolences to the Foat family on your loss.

  5. On October 2, 2019 at 9:21 am B & P Pringle Said:

    Oh that is such a shame…he was a great fellow and enjoyed his hospitality and friendship when we were involved with him and his family in 4H, and wherever our paths crossed. He loved his lifestyle and got to enjoy it. Hugs to all.

  6. On October 2, 2019 at 9:53 am Norm and Betty Lee Said:

    Our condolences to the Foat families.

  7. On October 2, 2019 at 11:14 am Angie Donna kelly Said:

    Our prayers thoughts go Foat


  8. On October 2, 2019 at 7:32 pm Lorraine Ortman Said:

    Condolences to everyone! May happy memories help you through this difficult time.

  9. On October 2, 2019 at 9:19 pm Doug & Margaret Lewis Said:

    Our deepest condolences to your family .
    D & M Lewis

  10. On October 2, 2019 at 9:49 pm Deb Ward Said:

    Our sincere condolences to Joan Michael Philip and families on losing Gene. Ron and Deb Ward

  11. On October 3, 2019 at 5:36 pm Ken Elliott Said:

    Deepest sympathy to the Foat Family.
    Losing a family lead is hard on all!
    regards Ken Elliott

  12. On October 3, 2019 at 8:09 pm Barry, Mary & BenThomson Said:

    Sincere thoughts and prayers to Joan, Michael, Phillip and families on the loss of Gene. How hard he fought to get back to the farm he loved so much. He will be missed in our community and remembered for his friendly smile and dedication to family and friends.

  13. On October 3, 2019 at 8:58 pm Eddie & Elaine Kennedy Said:

    Our condolences to the Foat family. Sincerely Eddie & Elaine Kennedy

  14. On October 4, 2019 at 8:53 am Don and Jacquie Conrad Said:

    Our sincere condolences to the Foat family.

  15. On October 4, 2019 at 7:19 pm Anne Bohannon and Palmer Schuetzle Said:

    Our deepest condolences to you Joan, Michael, Phillip, and your families with the passing of Gene. He will be missed by the community, friends, and family. Sincerely Anne Bohannon and Palmer Schuetzle

  16. On October 4, 2019 at 8:24 pm beverly rooke Said:

    my deepest sympathyto the foat families on the passing of gene

  17. On October 4, 2019 at 10:27 pm Barb Bieber & family Said:

    Dear Joan, Michael, Phillip and families. My deepest condolences go out to all of you at this very sad time but hope you know Gene is resting at peace in a much more beautiful place and with our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. I still remember their wedding day like it was yesterday. It was such a nice day. And I remember stopping by the farm once on our way home from somewhere. We were treated to such wonderful hospitality and a meal to boot. Also, in 2010 when Elaine came, we all got together at the farm. Such wonderful memories. I’m so so sorry that I won’t make his celebration of life as I will be just back from a Greek Isle holiday and will be still recovering from the dreaded jet lag in Saskatoon. My prayers go out to all of you. May God give you a peace that passeth all understanding. Love, Cousin Barb

  18. On October 6, 2019 at 5:46 am Daniel Mkunde Lyamuya Said:

    I am very unhappy to here input that bud Ivent.Offcource such issues of Missing member from the family always take time to forget.May our GOD remove your painful,Amen.

  19. On October 15, 2019 at 10:31 am Donna Maynes Said:

    Gene was a great person. He will be missed.

  20. On October 22, 2019 at 6:52 am Helen Smith nee Dews Said:

    Dear Joan, Michael, Phillip and families. I am so sorry to hear of your sad loss.

    I remember my time living and working with you all as one of your trainees with fondness, I can’t believe that it was 17 year ago that stayed with you.

    Sending my love at this sad time your English trainee Helen