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.
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.