Gary Martin Levine
7/3/1966 – 11/1/2015
“Clever, Caring, Iconoclastic” is how friends and colleagues remember Gary Martin Levine upon his passing in Medina, OH after a brief illness. His sharp wit, keen intelligence, and loving heart kept us laughing heartily and thinking creatively, and we are all the richer for it. He is survived by the wife he loved, Floralyn C. Morata, and the children he adored—daughter Sonoma Michelle Levine (16) and son Carlos Michael Levine (12), in addition to his parents and his brother.
Gary was born in Norfolk, VA to parents Ina Rae Sandler Levine and Robert Nathan Levine. His family, including sister Dina Michelle Levine Zauderer (Marvin) and brother Lee Levine (Tracy), moved to Virginia Beach, VA and Tampa, FL before finally settling in Belvedere, CA, a suburb of San Francisco.
Early in life, friends and teachers noted the humor, intelligence, and literary gifts that would become Gary's hallmarks, both personally and professionally. His academic journey took him first to UC Berkeley (B.A. English) then to Washington University in St. Louis (MFA, Creative Writing) and the U. of Iowa (Ph.D. English). Gary and Floralyn met as students at Berkeley, where they later married in 1998.
After a few years in Boston, the Levines relocated to Ohio, where Gary joined the English Department faculty at Ashland University. At once demanding and compassionate, dedicated and questioning, Professor Levine made a lasting impact on students and faculty alike. As Director of the Composition Program, Gary put heart and soul into helping students find their voices and hone their ideas in writing. He taught a wide variety courses ranging from British Literature and American Studies to Literature and Film. And, as one student noted, he could bring humor to anything, even grammar. His Ashland colleagues speak of Gary’s commitment to academic rigor, his creative leadership, and his verbal repartee that livened up every faculty meeting.
Though Gary lived in his head, as they say, he led with his heart. Nowhere is this more apparent than in parenting Carlos and Sonoma. He championed their unique gifts and encouraged their curiosity in everything from soccer and tennis to science and spelling bees. He taught them to think for themselves and to love deeply. Friends from all stages of his life also remember his love and loyalty, served up, of course, with a side of humor. As a father, friend, spouse and colleague, Gary Martin Levine was one of a kind, and will be forever missed by those he loved.
A memorial service will be held November 14, 2015, at 10 a.m. at the Ashland University Chapel, Upper Chapel, 527 College Avenue, Ashland, Ohio.