Once a Wolverine, always a Wolverine

Former football player enjoys his active life at Fox Run

Meghan Streit
August 19, 2019

There are few things that bring more pride to Michiganders than University of Michigan football. So when you meet someone who has actually graced the field at the Big House, it's exciting. 

Fox Run is lucky to count a former U of M football player among its community members. Len Mizerowski was a middle guard for the Wolverines in 1953 during his freshman year at the University of Michigan. 

"The thing I remember most was the coach Wally Weber, and he would call you by the school you went to. So to me he would yell, 'Hey Chadsey, get over here,'" Len recalls, referring to his Detroit high school. 

Len left the University of Michigan after his freshman year and went into the army for two years, including an 18-month tour in Germany. After his military service, he attended Lawrence Technological Institute, where he earned a degree in civil engineering. 

He worked for the Wayne County Road Commission for many years and later worked for the Federal Aviation Authority. Len retired in 1997 and he and his wife Irene embarked on an adventure touring North America in their RV.

"We visited all the states in the U.S., including Alaska, and all the provinces in Canada, from one end of the country to the other," Len says.

Len and Irene spent 11 years exploring the U.S. and Canada. They belonged to a group of people who would travel together along the same routes in their RVs and meet up for dinner and sightseeing at each destination.

"One of our most interesting trips was to New Orleans for the jazz festival," Len says. "After the festival, we loaded the motor home onto a barge and went up the intracoastal [waterway] and came back on the Mississippi River. Then we parked on a dock in front of Bourbon Street. You could sit in your motor home and watch from the barges. There were three barges, one with motor homes, one with campers, and in the middle was a party barge."

New adventure starts at Fox Run

When they weren't traveling in their RV, Len and Irene split their time between a home in Northville, Mich., and Naples, Fla. In 2014, they decided to move to Fox Run, the Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich. 

"We used to get advertisements from Fox Run, and I would give them to my sister because I was looking for something for her," Len says. "But when we came here and looked [around], we loved it."

Len and Irene found even more to love about Fox Run after they moved to the community. They have a comfortable and spacious one-bedroom apartment home with a den. They play bridge and are involved with the Catholic Council, both of which have given them opportunities to get to know their neighbors. From the community's location near family to its exceptional dining experience to its friendly staff, Fox Run does not disappoint, Len says.

"There isn't anything I have found that I don't like about Fox Run," he adds. "I really love just about everything."

Making connections

As is common among Fox Run community members, Len and Irene have discovered interesting connections with their neighbors.

"As it turns out, we found two couples that were my sister-in-law's friends, who live in the same building as us, so we have dinner with them a lot of evenings," Len says. "And there are six of us who graduated from Chadsey High School in Detroit."

Of course, Len is a lifelong University of Michigan supporter. He and Irene joined a club to travel with the team to different stadiums around the country.

"You get to be a fan, and you're hooked on it," Len explains. 

University of Michigan is a family affair for the Mizerowskis. Len and Irene's son and daughter-in-law both graduated from the school, and their grandson currently attends college there. 

Len has had the same football season ticket seats for 50 years. And of course, he enjoys showing off his Wolverine spirit at Fox Run.

"One of the comments some of the people here have made to me is, 'Don't you have any other clothes except for Michigan shirts?'" Len laughs. "That is what my kids always buy for me."