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Honoring the Memory of Levy Senior Center Benefactor Joe Levy, Jr.

Updated: Feb 25, 2019

Joseph Levy, Jr., a generous and creative leader in the Evanston community, passed away Feb. 15.

Joe Levy, Jr. passed away on Feb. 15 at Evanston Hospital. He was 92 years old.

Mr. Levy accomplished many things in his long life. He was a devoted family man, married to his wife, Carole, for 66 years, as well as a doting father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was a successful businessman at his Evanston-based Buick dealership, Carole Buick, where he cared about his employees and his customers.

He was a generous philanthropist to many organizations and worthy causes; the most prominent gifts from Joe and Carole Levy were those made toward the construction of senior centers, named after his parents, in Evanston at 300 Dodge Ave. as well as Chicago and Bolingbrook.

In addition to his financial generosity, Mr. Levy shared his ideas, contacts and advice as a mentor to countless people from all walks of life. He served on the boards of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School, the Chicago History Museum, Evanston Hospital, Temple Shalom and the Levy Senior Center Foundation in Evanston. For many years Mr. Levy led a Saturday entrepreneurship group. He is remembered as having a brilliant mind for marketing and as an inspiring leader.

Mr. Levy’s 90th birthday coincided with the monthly board meeting of the Levy Senior Center Foundation. The board had a cake ready and made a proper fuss befitting his role and stature. He took it all with grace and good humor, and then got down to business as the meeting began.

One of the topics for discussion was a new program idea to encourage exercise and involvement among some of Evanston’s oldest seniors. The proposed benefit was a free Levy Senior Center membership to any Evanston resident 90 or older. The board discussed it and voted to approve the new program, but did not have a program name in mind. Without missing a beat, Mr. Levy piped up: “Heaven Can Wait.” It was pithy and perfect, classic Joe Levy.

Mr. Levy made a positive impact on Evanston as an employer, benefactor, involved community leader and alumnus. He loved hearing other people’s ideas and appreciated being asked for his thoughts and advice. His remembered as a generous and genuine friend to many – a “mensch,” who will be missed.

Article Courtesy Wendi Kromash via Evanston RoundTable.

In Memoriam

The flag flew half mast at the Levy Senior Center in memory of the Center's dear benefactor, Joseph Levy, Jr. through Monday, Feb 18.

The Levy Senior Center is commemorating Joe Levy with a memorial bunting. There is also memorial book for Levy members and area residents to sign and share memories. Contributions may be made to the Levy Senior Center Foundation, 300 Dodge Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201 or on the Levy Senior Center Foundation website in memory of Joe.

About Joe Levy

A 2007 profile of Levy in Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management alumni magazine said that Levy, who earned his Kellogg degree in 1947, believed "Entrepreneurs never get too old if they love what they're doing and are doing it well."

He was the fourth generation of a Chicago-area entrepreneurial family, whose great-grandfather ran a horse-and-buggy business. And after working at his father's auto dealership, he opened his own Buick dealership in Evanston, which he says became the largest dealer for the brand in the world.

Levy later launched a venture management firm to help other entrepreneurs grow their businesses. The Levy Senior Center of Evanston is named in acknowledgement of Joe Levy and his family's generous contributions to the community.

Joe Levy, Jr., served on the Levy Senior Center Foundation board, and his countless philanthropic efforts have left an immeasurable impact. Gifts may be made in memory of Joe Levy and his lifework online, via mail, or at the Levy Senior Center front desk.

Article courtesy Evanston Now.


Joseph Levy, Jr., 92, beloved husband for 66 years of Carole nee Kahane; loving father of Jan (Bruce) Tranen, Beth (James) Reiman and Nancy (Richard) Simon; cherished grandfather of Charles (Heather), David, Anne and Steven; great grandfather of William and Nathaniel; dear uncle of Judith Newton and several grand nieces and nephews.

Joe will long be remembered for his generosity, kindness and philanthropy. He founded the Levy Senior Centers and served on the boards of Northwestern Kellogg Business School and the Culver Academies. He was also a longtime board member of Temple Sholom, The Chicago History Museum and Evanston Hospital.

Info: Weinstein & Piser Funeral Home, 847-256-5700.Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Feb. 17, 2019Obituary via


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