Traverse City Record-Eagle


August 11, 2013

R.L. 'Len' Carefoot

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — R.L. “Len” Carefoot, age 89, passed away Thursday, June 21, 2013, surrounded by his children and grandchildren at the Sunny Vista Living Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Born Sept. 10, 1923, in Vineland, Ontario, Canada, the son of Rankin L. and Clara V. (Swayze) Carefoot, Len married Beverly Joan Sully of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in 1949.

He graduated from the University of Toronto Medical School as an M.D. and practiced medicine in the U.S. from 1949 until 1983. He operated the St. Luke’s Hospital medical laboratory and served as medical examiner in Marquette for 23 years.

In retirement he was a longtime resident of Traverse City.

A naturalized U.S. citizen, Len was a dedicated husband and father, a physician, pilot, golfer, avid outdoorsman, inventor and radio control airplane enthusiast.

In his retirement years he enjoyed improving and maintaining his waterfront home on Silver Lake near Traverse City, known to many in the family as the Carefoot Resort. There he and his wife, Bev spent time with their children and grandchildren who spent many happy hours fishing, waterskiing, playing ball in the yard and cooking on the deck.

In recent years the effects of his Parkinson’s disease meant a move into assisted living near his daughters, Ann and Patty in Colorado Springs, but Michigan was his home.

He was a devoted follower of Christ to the end of his life.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Beverly, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; five children, James (Nancy), of Gilbert, Ariz., Robert (Cynthia), of Colorado Springs, Colo., Ann (Randy) Gingrich, of Colorado Springs, Colo., Thomas (Bridget), of Traverse City, and Patricia, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held for Len at Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home in Traverse City at 2 p.m. on Aug. 17, 2013, followed by a reception and inurnment at Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens.

Memorials are preferred to the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s, Boulder, Colorado (; or WorldVision, PO Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063.

Please visit to share your thoughts and memories with the family.

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