Cover photo for Carl Canfield's Obituary
Carl Canfield Profile Photo
1923 Carl 2008

Carl Canfield

May 15, 1923 — December 12, 2008

Carl Rex Canfield (May 15, 1923 - December 12, 2008) Photography has been a passion and hobby for Carl for over 70 years. It all began when he got his first "Brownie Box" camera from his father at about age eight. It continued through grammar school where he already had begun learning how to develop film and print pictures in the darkroom. After graduating from high school, Carl entered the Navy Air Corp V5 program for training as a Naval aviator. While in training during World War II, Carl served as the base photographer. Unfortunately, poor eyesight limited him from flying but gave him the opportunity to acquire an engineering degree and a commission as ensign. After leaving the Navy, Carl went to work for Borg-Warner's new research laboratory in Chicago, Illinois. There he developed and patented the friction material used in automatic transmissions. This material allowed the smooth shifting of automatic transmissions and is the material still used in the industry throughout the world today. During the development of this material, Carl's photography came into play with the use of high speed movies used to monitor the effectiveness of the material. As Carl worked his way up through the corporate ladder of Borg-Warner, becoming president of Schwitzer (later purchased by Household International) and developing innovative automotive products such as turbo-chargers and fuel injection systems, photography was never very far out of hand. He was right there on the race tracks with his cameras catching every moment and was one of the first to capture overhead photographs of the action in the "pits." Carl's corporate obligations and extensive international travels, afforded him numerous photographic opportunities, including Winston Churchill's funeral in England. Carl's love for the beauty of Jackson Hole was sparked as far back as 1946. After leaving the Navy, he and a handful of fellow engineers from the Illinois Institute of Technology took a three week "road trip" and fell into the valley, where at that time there weren't even any paved roads. Continued "family trips" always brought him back into the shadows of the Tetons. Upon early retirement in 1983, Carl and his wife Mary Jane left the "big city" of Indianapolis and claimed Jackson as their home. There was never a shortage of material for Carl to focus on. Jackson Hole, and the rest of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado, provided Carl with a never ending supply of subject matter. His "hobby" had now become his second career. His engineering nature motivated him to setup one of the most comprehensive private darkrooms in the state. Carl studied under a number of world acclaimed photographers, including such names as Doug Busch, Morley Baer, George Tice, participating in Photography Rendezvous with Al Weber, and attending Ansel Adams' last workshop in 1979. Visitors of Saint John's Hospital have probably noticed his work lining the halls. Carl's work has recently been acquired by the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Carl is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary Jane; his children and their spouses, Chris (Leila), Cindy (John Kirby), and Laurie; and his grandchildren, Ben, Michael, and Sarah. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association."


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carl Canfield, please visit our flower store.

Visits: 1

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree