By Celia Catlett
Dr. Apfelbach (or Len, as he prefers to be called) is a man of wide interests: from photography, genealogy and local history to world travel and from cooking and gardening to reading about politics and current events. He also enjoys all the arts that Sarasota offers.
He was born and grew up in Chicago but spent summers in Fish Creek, WI, in a seasonal home that has been in the family since his grandfather’s time. It is located on the shore of Green Bay, a part of Lake Michigan. Len lives there four months each summer, and the family still gathers there. During our interview, he pointed out several lovely paintings of the scenery that surrounds it.
He has worked with the Wisconsin Historical Society and Fish Creek to record photographic and family history, and to video local history. Len attended Harvard where he majored in history, took all the art courses he could squeeze in and still managed to meet his premed requirements. He returned to Chicago for a medical degree and his residency in urology at Northwestern University.
During his residency, he married Claire Fleischmann, a Wellesley graduate and a talented pianist. In 1962, they moved to Janesville, WI, where Len practiced at Mercy Hospital until his retirement. He became Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff and wrote the bylaws for the hospital. He also served as president of the Rock County Surgical and Medical Societies. The Apfelbachs’ fifty-year marriage produced three sons and a daughter and seven grandchildren.
In 1993, Len and Claire moved to Sarasota and bought a condominium at Lawrence Point, where he served as president of the condo association for three years. He lost Claire eight years ago. Len then moved to South Lakeshore Drive in Sarasota, a block north of the Field Club entrance and when that home was for sale, he chose Plymouth Harbor as the ideal place to live.
It was a privilege to talk with someone with such a lively mind and range of enthusiasms. Do yourself a favor; meet him and welcome him to Plymouth Harbor.