Celebrating the Life of an Amazing Woman
Dorothy Levy passed away earlier this week, her obituary is here for those who want to see a sketch of what an incredible woman she was. To those who knew her, there is often a forgetful space, as there typically is for those who have been so accomplished and created so much joy in their life and most importantly in the lives of others. I forgot about the Marine recruitment poster, forgot about the Florida roots, but we always knew that Dot Levy walking into a room was a game changer.
She was a great mom to my lifelong friends John and Tom, and I know her husband John Sr. adored her, they were true life-partners. How could you not love that woman? Funny, warm, loyal to the extreme and genuinely interested in other people are the first thoughts that come to my mind. Dot mothered the crazy crew of friends in her son’s life – she fed us, housed us, chastised and threatened us when needed, employed us, motivated and inspired us. Thirty years ago, returning from a season working in restaurants overseas – no money, no motivation, between jobs and school semesters – Dot hired me to do some catering for her. I didn’t deserve the job, and she could have had the pick of the litter when it came to East End catering companies, but she wanted to let me do the cooking for a few of her parties. It was her way of supporting the dreams and desires of the people in her life. She was that kind of lady. I cooked a pretty average couple of events at her stunning home, some dishes were great, others less so, but it was a defining moment for me that taught valuable lessons of independence, responsibility and self-confidence to a messed up young man with misplaced priorities.
Twenty-three years later she was the first to line up to congratulate me on getting the Travel Channel show off the ground and over the last seven years I had the opportunity to see her and spend some time with her on several occasions, mostly in Minnesota when she would visit her family here. She was so proud of her sons and their wives and children, and never ever failed to indulge me in one of her private “I am so proud of what you have done with your life” chats of hers. Dot was other-centered. She doggedly got behind any project or idea that her friends and family had and her legacy of grace and warmth extends far beyond the amazing family she nurtured and cultivated. She was a game changer in every sense of the word, her kind of class doesn’t come along very often in any era. She will be missed, and always loved and remembered.