Robert S. Foote, a former longtime Darien resident, died on Friday, March 30, at the Village at Waveny Care Center in New Canaan. Born Jan. 24, 1927, in Winthrop, Mass., he was the son of the late Helen Spofford and Charles Silas Foote. He was 85.

Mr. Foote received his bachelor's of naval science degree from Dartmouth College in 1946 and a master of civil engineering degree from Yale University in 1949. He began his career with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and then completed his Navy service from 1951-53, stationed in Greece.

Upon his return to the Port Authority Mr. Foote was manager of the Research Division of the Tunnels & Bridges Department, where he participated in the design of the lower level of the George Washington Bridge, the catwalk car system in the Lincoln Tunnel, and the preliminary development of automatic vehicle identification systems, the precursor to EZ-Pass.

He was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Operations Research Society of America, the Institute of Traffic Engineers, and founding Chairman of the Research Committee of the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association. In 1968 he was awarded the Howard S. Cullman Fellowship which enabled him to tour the world and evaluate traffic systems for application in New York City.

A lifelong sailor, Mr. Foote was an active member of the Noroton Yacht Club, where he raced his cruising boats. He was also active in town politics, serving as Moderator of the Representative Town Meeting in the early 1970's. He was a fan of classical music and an aspiring pianist. In his retirement he refined his talents in nature photography.

Mr. Foote is survived by a son, John S. Foote and his wife Mary Clare Crotty of South Salem, N.Y.; three granddaughters, Laura A. Foote, Julie E. Foote, and Allison C. Foote; a sister, Mary Ann Foote Stauder of Lady Lake, Fla., and a brother, C. Richard Foote of Corrales, N.M.

He was predeceased by his wife, Susanne (Danna) Andrews in 2003 and a son, James A. Foote in 1981.

A graveside service will be held at Spring Grove Cemetery, Darien, on Saturday, May 12, at 4:30.

Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association,, or the English Springer Spaniel Club of Long Island,