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Marion Levy Mendel died peacefully at home on Saturday, March 2 at age 101. She was a descendant of Benjamin and Perla Sheftall who were among the 41 Jews whom General Oglethorpe welcomed to settle in the Georgia Colony in July 1733.

The daughter of Mildred Guckenheimer Abrahams and Edmund H. Abrahams, she was born Marion Cecile Abrahams on July 15, 1917 at the family home on Barnard Street.

Marion was educated at the Pape School, 35th Street Junior High School (Richard Arnold), Savannah High School and Smith College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree.

In 1940, she married attorney B. H. Levy. During the World War II years, the Levys were stationed with the Army Air Corps in Tennessee, Oklahoma and Florida, returning to Savannah after the war, where both became community leaders.

Marion was proud of her Savannah heritage and enjoyed her membership in Daughters of the American Revolution. In recent years, she was consulted as a primary source of American Jewish history and gave countless interviews and oral histories.

She served in many capacities at Congregation Mickve Israel, including being the first woman elected to the Board of Adjunta. She also served as president of the Mickve Israel Sisterhood, was a member of the Mickve Israel Museum Committee and for years faithfully served every Wednesday as a tour docent. She was honored as Sisterhood’s 2006 Woman of Valor.

Marion was a long-time volunteer with the Savannah Chapter of the American Red Cross, serving as Chapter Chairman, helping the blood donation program, and serving as Chairman of the Red Cross volunteers. She served on the board of the Abrahams Home that provided housing for widowed ladies in Savannah, on the Women’s Board of Bethesda Home for Boys, secretary of the Savannah section, National Council of Jewish Women, and was active in the Savannah Garden Club and the Record Club. She was also engaged in the Women’s Guild of the Savannah Symphony Society and co-chaired the Guild’s annual televised auction.

Marion was predeceased by her husbands, B.H. Levy, Sr. and Calmon P. Mendel, her son-in-law, Gary M. Levy and her grandson, Dr. Jonathan J. Levy.

Survivors include Savannahians daughter Joan Levy Levy and son B.H. Levy, Jr. (Margie) and grandchildren, Jennifer Leigh Levy (Joseph Cowart) of Houston, Dr. Benjamin H. Levy III of Chicago, and Elizabeth Levy Karen (Dan) of Atlanta, and great-granddaughters Lily and Ruby Cowart of Houston and Soleil Karen of Atlanta.

Funeral service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Temple Mickve Israel. Burial will follow in Bonaventure Cemetery with Rabbi Robert Haas officiating.

Remembrances: Congregation Mickve Israel’s Mildred Abrahams Kuhr Music Fund, the Congregation’s Memorial Endowment Foundation or a charity of your choice.

Online Condolences

  1. Lee Rubinstein says:

    You are in my thoughts and prayers she was a fine lady

  2. Carolyn Usher Oxenrider says:

    Dear Joan:

    Please accept my deepest sympathy. Know these last years have been difficult for you, and want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.


  3. Sandy McGlohon says:

    BH, Margie & Joan…..

    My heart breaks when I think of her being gone from us. She was a spirited woman that never missed a moment to joke with me. The many days I spent with her were always times of unexpected words of humor but with a pinch of wisdom.
    Our times driving around town to her appointments and Russo’s of course, every Thursday, plus our heart to heart talks as I drove her to those appointments…….. it was always an eye opener as she would first say when I asked her thoughts aboutt something, “I have to think about it.”….Then came the response! Sometimes a real surprise! When I introduced her to L’Oreal she was so excited to later tell me….”at the concert someone asked me if I had a facelift recently”. She chuckled and said “Really impressed me! I have to get more!”

    My sweet dear friend …. you are missed so very much! But I know you are well! I will look for that red cardinal to know you are still with me! Always love you sweet lady…….. Sandy PS…. “I’m gonna miss you.”

  4. Larry Bonner says:

    B.H., Margie , and Joan , I’m so sorry. , I am so very Proud and Honored to have known Ms. Marion Mendel . As a Christian and Gospel Singer . I was Honored to be asked to come to her home and sing to her. On Friday evenings . It was always a true blessing . Just to share and watch her response to the beautiful songs that were a favorite to her. She will be missed and thought of often. Prayers to the Family

  5. carolyn boone says:

    BH Margie and Joan I’m so sorry about Miss Mendel she was very sweet lady I didn’t know her very long but what time I did know her and the time I spent with her she was a very sweet lady she was always very gracious and thankful for anything you did for her I’m really going to miss her I didn’t know where that long but I still got really attached to her may God bless you and the next days ahead of you and I’m sending my prayers Carolyn Boone

  6. Leslie Bryant says:

    I loved working with Mrs.Mendel. Ms.Mendel was a good friend as well as a great person. This is definitely a tough pill to swallow. She will be greatly missed and I send my deepest condolences out to the family of such a wonderful soul. Love always, Leslie Bryant.

  7. Sue Herrin(stapen) says:

    My deepest sympathy. Mrs. Levy was such a good neighbor to me on 46th street, I also remember what a wonderful daughter she was to her mother, Mrs Kuhr who lived next to her,
    My thoughts and prayers are with her family
    Sue Herrin (Stapen)

  8. SAM G. ADLER JR. says:



  9. Carolyn Sheehan says:

    My deepest sympathy to the entire family with the loss of
    your mother. It was a pleasure & an honor to have known her
    as my neighbor at Tybee.

  10. Cookie Tenenbaum and barry gale says:

    Our deepest sympathy over your loss.

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