Betty L. Levy died peacefully at Francis House on June 11. She was born on June 10, 1933, in Chicago, IL, to James and Mabel Samuels. After graduating from Lindblom High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Roosevelt University. She was married in 1960 to Richard Levy and moved with him to Syracuse in 1963. Betty earned a master’s degree in education from Syracuse University. She worked at the Children’s Center at Upstate Medical University, Huntington Family Service Center, and OCM BOCES and, after retiring, taught and served on the board at the Newland Center for Adult Learning and Literacy.
She was a life-long learner and seeker, with abiding interests in philosophy, history, religion and spirituality. Her passion was for African, especially Egyptian, and African–American history and culture. She was a member of The Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations, and went on excursions with that group to Egypt, West Africa and Brazil. Betty read widely and belonged to a book group for several decades. Deeply concerned with social justice and human rights, she was a member of SANE and CORE, and participated in the civil rights demonstrations in Syracuse in 1963. She was an active participant in the arts, singing with Syracuse University Oratorio Society for 30 years and she created many pottery objects. She was deeply spiritual, practiced transcendental meditation, and belonged to Unity Church and Spiritual Center in Syracuse and the Agape International Spiritual Center of Los Angeles.
We are thankful to the aides who assisted her in recent years, especially Jesseca Strine, who was devoted to her care and well-being for the past three years. We are also deeply grateful for the loving care provided by Hospice of CNY and Francis House, where she spent her last days surrounded by tranquility and love.
Betty was pre-deceased by her sister Joanne and brothers James and Anthony. She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Richard Levy of Syracuse, her daughter Karen Levy of Ithaca, NY, her niece Lauren Samuels and her nephews Gregory, Eric and Bryan Samuels. A service and celebration of Betty’s life will be held at Unity Church on July 27 at 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to any of the following. Unity Church and Spiritual Center, 300 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13207, Agape International Spiritual Center, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211, Hospice of CNY, 990 Seventh North St., Liverpool, NY 13088, or Francis House, 108 Michaels Ave., Syracuse, NY 13208.
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