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1960 David 2020

David Anthony Lightfoot

May 6, 1960 — May 3, 2020

CARBONDALE – David Anthony Lightfoot, 59, of Carbondale, IL passed away on Sunday May 3rd, 2020 in his home.

David was a proud Yorkshireman born in Morley, West Yorkshire, UK on May 6th, 1960 to John Anthony and Joyce Lightfoot (nèe Mallender). He shared 35 years of marriage with Maria Eugenia Vidal.

David is survived by his children, Jorge David, Sarah Eugenia, Thomas Fausto, and Marcos Gabriel; his mother, Joyce; sister, Judith; nieces, Jessica and Rosie; and his extended family of three aunties, two uncles, and ten cousins. He was preceded in death by his father in 2010.

In his early years David spent his spare time in the Otley Golf Club with his father Tony. It was here that he learned the virtues patience and discipline. At home, his mother Joyce instilled a love of reading and story telling that allowed him to become a master of his craft in the classroom.

David was an especially beloved Professor of Plant, Soil and Agricultural Systems at Southern Illinois University Carbondale for 29 years. He had published one hundred and seventy eight peer-reviewed scientific articles, one book, sixteen book chapters, thousands of DNA sequences, and held patent rights to four inventions earning him membership to the National Academy of Inventors.

David’s love of education was passed on to his children. Jorge, Sarah, and Thomas have all embarked on their own research careers in health care, while Marcos is pursuing his college degree.

David will be remembered as a loving father, avid traveler, prolific scientist, and better-than-average golfer. He will be dearly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues.

Memorial services will be delayed until the Lightfoot family has determined that it is safe to gather. Details will be presented at a later date.

Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale assisted the family with arrangements. To leave condolences online visit

To order memorial trees in memory of David Anthony Lightfoot, please visit our tree store.


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