John Calvin Barefoot died peacefully at the UNC Hospice Home in Pittsboro after a long illness.
John was born in Asheville, NC, to Edna Earle Killian Barefoot and Lexie Glen Barefoot. He grew up loving the mountains and working at his father’s drug store. He frequently visited his extended family in Four Oaks, NC, where he learned to appreciate a good Eastern NC barbecue.
After graduating from Lee Edwards High School in 1959, John earned a BS from UNC-CH in 1963, an MS from Bryn Mawr University in 1965, and a PhD from UNC-CH in 1968. He worked as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Dartmouth College from 1967 – 1970 and moved to Carleton University in Ottawa from 1970 – 1979, where he became an Associate Professor of Psychology. He returned to Chapel Hill to do a post-doctoral fellowship in Biostatistics in 1979. From 1983 until his retirement he was an Associate Research Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Duke University Medical Center where he specialized in investigating the correlation between psychosocial factors and heart disease. He was granted a Fogarty Fellowship in 1993 to work in conjunction with University of Copenhagen in Denmark, where he and his wife Martha spent summers for two decades.
John married Martha Ann Bagby of Richmond, VA on June 20th, 1964 in Birmingham, AL. Together, they built a beautiful home and family. In his younger days, he enjoyed hiking, playing golf, and traveling the world. As he aged, he loved classical music, walking in his neighborhood, and sitting on his back porch. John taught his children to love and respect the natural world, to embrace scholarship and science, and to appreciate the diversity and complexity of all humanity.
He is preceded in death by his son, John Christopher Barefoot, a sister, Loretta Barefoot Carriker, and a brother-in-law, Donald Carriker. He is survived by his wife, Martha, a daughter, Martha Killian Barefoot (Christopher Yeager), four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, a loving extended family, and a network of friends.
A memorial service will be held in the Auditorium at Carolina Meadows (100 Whippoorwill Lane, Chapel Hill, NC, 27517) at 11:00am on Sunday, April 23rd. Reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, his family asks for donations to The Triangle Land Conservancy in his name.
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