Gamble Funeral Service

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Gary Michael Levy, age 75, died peacefully in his sleep at home in the early morning hours of Thursday, September 13, 2018.

He had a heart like a hurricane and was well-loved and loved everyone in return.

Memphis-born on March 29, 1943, Gary played defensive tackle for Christian Brothers High School in Memphis. He actually knew Elvis, a young man at the time, who played and sang in Gary’s home. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology.

He met his wife, Joan, in Atlanta, where both were employed at Rich’s Department Store. They were married January 24, 1970 at Temple Mickve Israel in Savannah. They lived in Atlanta, Louisville and New Orleans, where Gary was in retailing.

For 10 years the couple operated Maxie’s Stage Deli in Metairie, LA. They moved to Savannah in 1987 and opened The Cock’d Hat restaurant at 9 Drayton Street. Since 1991 they have operated Joan’s on Jones Bed and Breakfast.

An avid golfer and fisherman, Gary also was a sports car enthusiast, photographer and in the past few years enjoyed painting.

Gary was a member of Congregation Mickve Israel and served as a beloved docent. He participated in many Temple related activities, including many phases of the Jewish Food Festival, the Backpack Buddies project, hosting visitors from abroad, and overall support of the Congregation.

He was a member of the Jewish Educational Alliance, the Rotary Club of Savannah East, the Chatham Club, the Wilmington Golf Club and the Savannah Golf Club.

In addition to his parents, Max and Sigma Levy, he was preceded in death by his son, Jonathan Justus Levy, M. D.

Survivors include his wife, Joan Levy Levy, of Savannah; a daughter, Jennifer Leigh Levy and her husband, Joseph Cowart, of Houston. He was “Poppie” to Lily, 8, and Ruby, 3, of Houston. Gary is also survived by a sister, Jo Rose Cohn of Creve Coeur, Missouri; nieces, nephews and cousins; his mother-in-law, Marion Levy Mendel; and his brother-in-law, B. H. Levy, Jr. and his wife, Margie.

The funeral service will be held at 10 o’clock Sunday morning at graveside, Bonaventure Cemetery, conducted by Rabbi Robert W. Haas.

Remembrances: Congregation Mickve Israel – Post Office Box 816, Savannah, Georgia 31402-0816 or Georgia Historical Society – 104 West Gaston Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401.

Online Condolences

  1. Carolyn Sheehan says:

    Dear Joan and all of the Levy Family,
    It is with a sad heart that I read about the passing of Gary. I send my deepest sympathy & condolences in your loss, along with my prayers for strength in the time ahead.
    Your Tybee neighbor,

  2. Clifford Karchmer says:

    I knew Gary in high school at CBHS in Memphis. He was my ride home from football practice and I got to know him pretty well. He was one terrific guy in every respect. His loss is terrible news.

  3. Margo and Andrew Ames says:

    Dear Joan and all of the family,

    It is with profound sadness that we learned of Gary’s passing. May his memory be a blessing. He always had a warm greeting and firm handshake or hug. We will miss him. We are so blessed to have had a lovely evening together only a month ago. Please remember that one’s pain is in proportion to the joy you received from Gary. We will see you tomorrow. What a great loss for you and the community.

    Margo and Andrew Ames


    Dear Joan and Levy Families:

    E and I wish to send our sincere condolences on your loss off Gary. Our thoughts are with you.

    E and Justin

  5. Ardis Ann Wood says:

    Dear Joan,

    My heart is with you as you deal with the life passage of your dear Gary. Hugs, Ardis

  6. Ken and Dian Brownfield says:

    Joan and family,
    What a beautiful service for Gary and such a remarkable tribute to a man who lived life “his way”! His smile could light up a room and you knew if you were a friend, that he would do anything for you! I don’t think Gary ever met a stranger and he was always interested in what you had to say. He lived a great life and was a friend to so many! He will be sadly missed. We are keeping you all in our hearts and prayers. I hope you will remember all of the happy, joyful, loving times you spent together as a family and that these special memories will comfort you in the years ahead.
    Ken and Dian

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