Lee Haynes


Lee Haynes, beloved son, father, husband, brother, uncle, physician and friend, died peacefully with his wife, Dee Karnofsky, by his side on their wedding anniversary Oct. 22, 2017, in Bar Harbor of Alzheimer’s disease.

He was born Feb. 18, 1945, in Richmond, Va., to Effie (Barnum) and Ormond Lee Haynes.

He spent his childhood in Fairmont, W.Va. After high school, Lee attended Williams College. While there, Lee was a part of the five-time winning team on the TV show “GE College Bowl,” where his wealth of information and legendary memory paid off. Lee went on to attend Harvard Medical School, fulfilling his lifelong ambition of becoming a doctor. After completing his internship, a residency at Mass General Hospital and Army obligations, he moved with his wife, Susan (Williams) Haynes, and young sons to Bar Harbor to begin his career as a rural internist. Lee’s primary love in life was his children. He chose to practice medicine in a small community so he could be close to home and be there to share his children’s lives. The family was actively involved in Quaker Meeting in Virginia Beach and on Mount Desert Island for many years.

For 38 years Lee practiced medicine in Bar Harbor. He treated his patients like family, remembered their phone numbers, collected their family photographs, offered rides to those in need and felt deeply their triumphs and losses. His care and concern for his patients didn’t end when they left his office. Although Lee could be a force of nature with his large presence and booming voice, he was also a gentle and compassionate man, well loved by his patients. The nurses at Mount Desert Island Hospital, the medical assistants and staff at Cooper-Gilmore all held a place in his heart. Lee especially loved the nurses’ Halloween pranks led by Doris Plumer.

After his first marriage ended, Lee started a new chapter of his life with Dee Karnofsky. In 1996, a son, Norman, came into their lives. Dee and Lee devoted themselves to helping Norman develop to his fullest potential. However, as he approached high school graduation it became evident he would not be able to live independently. Together Lee and Dee engaged the entire MDI community in a series of meetings and conversations about the residential needs of young adults with disabilities. The result was the formation of the nonprofit Local Solutions in 2011, and in 2017 the opening of The Parish House in Bar Harbor, a forever home for six young adults with unique needs.

Music was always a passion. Sparked by a music/rafting trip to Big Bend National Park, Lee and Dee decided to start The Austin-Acadia Connection. From 1996-2007 Lee loved being the master of ceremonies, bringing edgy singer/songwriters and their bands to Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor.

Lee retired from practicing medicine in 2012. His hope for a relaxed retirement with time for travel, camping and being with his grandchildren was not to be. Unbeknownst to him, his once legendary memory was beginning to slip away. As his abilities diminished he found great pleasure in doing simple things with Dee, such as walking in the park, swimming, and relaxing at home. One of his main joys in life had always been reading to children. During his last years he volunteered at Kid’s Corner, where he once again found great joy in sharing books with young children. His capacity for love and kindness never diminished.

He is survived by his wife, Dee Karnofsky, and son Norman Haynes of Bar Harbor; son Michael Talbot-Haynes and wife Sarah of Tucson, Ariz.; son Adam Haynes, wife, Gia Kim, and granddaughters Lucinda and Juliet Haynes of Los Angeles, Calif.; son Matthew Haynes of Portland, Ore.; and stepdaughter Blue (Karnofsky) Butterfield, husband, Kevin, and grandsons Satchel and Bryce of Portland, Maine. He is also survived by his two sisters in Richmond, Va.: Beth Beazley and husband, Roland; Sue Paletiere and husband, Buddy; several well-loved nieces and nephews; and by Susan (Williams) Haynes of Tucson, Ariz., mother of Michael, Adam and Matthew.

Lee loved his life on Mount Desert Island and felt lucky to live here. He also loved reading, movies, road trips, music, food, and beer. He was big, loving, enthusiastic, smart and funny. He will be sadly missed.

His family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at Birch Bay Village, where Lee spent the last year of his life; and Hancock County Hospice. Donations in Lee’s memory may be sent to Local Solutions, P.O. Box 512, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.

A service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, at 3 p.m. at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church.

Know when to pay your respects.