Leonard “Lenny” D. Levine

by | Aug 19, 2021 | Obituaries

Virginia Beach—Leonard “Lenny” D. Levine, Esquire, 84, passed away on Saturday, July 17, 2021.

He was born in Norfolk, Virginia to Michael and Francis (Coleman) Levine. Leonard was pre-deceased by his parents, his beloved brother, Bobby, and his first wife of 52 years, Merle Sue (Kaplan) Levine.

He is survived by his loving wife, Lyna; devoted brother, Paul; and his sons, Steve and Mark. Lenny also fostered loving relationships with his extended family including John “Buddy” and Taryn Raschdorf, Chelsey and Brian Jude, Jake Raschdorf, and 10 grandchildren.

For over three years, Lenny, his mother, and his brother awaited his father’s return from World War II.

He attended JEB Stuart School, Maury High School, and Mr. Rekonty’s Hebrew Classes, before graduating from Granby High School in 1954. Lenny became an accomplished clarinetist and contributed to the high school sports column of The Virginian-Pilot as a teenager. His love of sports and music remained with him throughout his life.

Lenny cherished his time at the University of Virginia where he was a member of the band, tutored student athletes, and was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity. In 1958, he received a BA. Lenny went on to earn a law degree from UVA in 1962.

Lenny was already in the United States Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island upon receiving the notification he had passed the bar exam. He would go on to reach the rank of Lieutenant Commander in JAG Corp. Following his time in the US Navy, Lenny and his bride returned to Norfolk, residing in Norfolk and Virginia Beach for the remainder of their lives.

Leonard practiced law in Tidewater for 57 years. He was an accomplished litigator and counsel of record in multiple published cases. Lenny mentored countless attorneys, who still view him as the “gold standard” of lawyers. His practice was enhanced by his efficient and trusted legal assistant of 49 years, Marian Ballas.

Lenny was truly a sailor; he enjoyed diving and teaching diving. Some of his best memories were of sailing his own sailboat. He was talented as a painter and loved to cook. He enjoyed travel and learning cultures and languages. He took great joy in playing recreational softball as an adult with the other members of his law firm, as well as a neighborhood team.

Lenny spent a lifetime increasing his knowledge and joy of Judaism. He continued to study with his rabbi until he went away to college. He took great pleasure in learning, study, and teaching at Ohef Sholom Temple. He was on the temple board and served as the treasurer at Temple Israel, where he could always be counted on for a witty and thoughtful Davar Torah (sermon).

Lenny had extensive knowledge and interest in American history. Specifically, he enjoyed studying and sharing about the Civil War and World War II.

Lenny led a full and fruitful life. He will be missed for his wit and his wisdom. He was blessed to have 84 years. He will be missed for his knowledge and his charm. He blessed those in his life. He will be remembered for his integrity and his loyalty, and he was blessed by those that he loved. He will be remembered for his fairness and his faithfulness. He was a man with the heart of a lion. He will be ever appreciated for his intelligence and his artistic prowess.

A funeral service was held at the Norfolk Chapel of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., with Rabbi Michael Panitz officiating. Interment followed at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Memorial contributions in Lenny’s name may be made to a favorite charity. Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com.