Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day isn't a great day for me

Robert (standing) and Gordon Levy
December, 1930

On September 3, 1950 my parents, Gordon Levy and Geraldine Martin, were married.   On Saturday, September 3, 2005 they celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary and two days later, Labor Day, September 5, 2005 my dad was gone.  Although Dad had Parkinson's and other health issues, the heart that had been repaired 26 years before just gave out. 

Gordon Floyd Levy was born in Fresno on February 11, 1927 and was the second son of Sigmund and Mildred Loraine (Gunzendorfer) Levy.  He graduated from Fresno High School in 1944 and after a two year pause for service in the US Army Air Corp, he received a Bachelors Degree from Stanford University in 1949 and a MBA in 1951.  He joined Dean Witter in 1951 and served as a Broker, Partner, and Branch Manager until 1974.  After spending 10 years as General Manager for the San Jose Chamber of Commerce, he returned to Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley in 1985.  Not surprisingly, he spent a full day at work on Friday and died on Monday.  That was just the way he was.

My dad had so many "Gordy-isms" that we still laugh about today.  He loved his sports and would wait for weeks for the big game to finally come on TV.  And once it started and he was comfortable in his chair, we'd find him getting a much needed nap.  And those headphones were placed firmly on his head if he couldn't be near a TV - at weddings, graduations, you name it - he always knew the score. 

Dad bled Stanford red.  He had season tickets for the football games for over 50 years and also loved following the basketball team.  When Stanford would make it to the Rose Bowl or Final Four, Dad was first in line to buy tickets, no matter the location.  And he came to Seattle a few times to watch the UW/Stanford game and had no problem sporting his Cardinal pride amidst a sea of purple.  And then he'd throw up his hands and say "it's not fair, no one can win in this stadium".  Of course plenty of teams other than the Huskies have won but it just never happened to be Stanford when Dad was in attendance.

Dad loved his membership in all sorts of clubs and was very active in the San Jose community, but nothing was more important to him than Rotary.  He was President in the 1960's and was proud of his 51 years of perfect attendance.  I remember no matter where we were vacationing, Dad would always look for a local meeting to attend so he could keep that perfect attendance going.

Oh how I wish Dad could be here to share in this genealogy journey with me.  He loved talking about the past and was always tickled when someone would ask him questions about his youth.  He was proud of his track accomplishments at both Fresno High School and Stanford and loved telling the story of the moment he was the second fastest man in the world.  His theory was this - one day he ran against the fastest man in the world and finished a distant second but that proved that for that moment in time, he was the second fastest man in the world.  He was always looking for the positive in a situation.

I could go on and on about my Dad but to those who knew him best, I'm sure we all agree that the impact he's had on us and those who knew him was significant.  We still laugh about his antics and at times it seems like he's right here with us when his children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren mimic him.  He definitely was one of a kind.

I miss you, Dad!

Gordon Levy
July, 2005


  1. So sorry for your loss, Debi. I know first-hand how difficult it is to lose a parent. Your dad sounds like he was a terrific guy.

  2. Debi,

    Enjoyed reading your heartwarming post about your dad. Laughed as I read about "Gordy-isms." I know all about Stanford sports fans. My husband is a devoted Stanford fan. Loved the photos. I'll be stopping by again to read your blog. Take care, Teresa

  3. Debi,
    What a great blog! Your memories of your father are wonderful. I'm glad I got to read them. My father is gone too and with his birthday in just a couple weeks I have a similar post planned.
    I'll stop back often to read and enjoy!
    Best of luck!
    Cindy @ Genealogy Circle

  4. Beautiful tribute to your dad. He is always with you on your genealogy journey. Now you have shared him with all of us out here in the blogosphere and for that I say thank you.

  5. Such a beautiful story about your father. And what a great photograph to have of him as a child with his little car. I am now following your blog.

  6. Great post, Debi - feels like I know him! He sounds like he was a wonderful dad. I'm sure he'd be proud to see your interest in genealogy.