A husband, a twin, a brother, a father, a grandfather, son, uncle, nephew, cousin, respected boss, entrepreneur, businessman, friend, tennis player, golfer, skier, bicyclist, traveler, confidant, fisherman, chess player, handyman - there are many ways to describe our dad.
Joel could achieve whatever he set his mind to. His endless energy, goal-reaching spirit and his zest for life touched everyone privileged enough to have known the man. Enveloped in a dynamic, positive aura, people found Joel’s energy addictive and refreshing.
Honest, supportive, gentle, loving, trusted, selfless, concerned for others’ feelings, and a good judge of character, Joel always chose his words carefully. He served as a primary adviser to many people who confided in him and allowed him to assist them with their most important life decisions. Throughout Joel’s life, he surrounded himself with good, hard-working, successful people, and he was a friend to everyone who knew him.
Born in 1946, Joel grew up in a supportive, yet competitive atmosphere, along with brothers Jerry, Harvey, and Richard. After graduating from Cheltenham High School, he attended the University of Pennsylvania, earning a BA in English. Joel married Patsy, his high school sweetheart, six months after graduation. He was most proud of us, his three children: Adam, Chad, and Sara.
From an early age, Joel set earnest goals for himself and for his family. He claimed to have achieved every one of those goals, before death took him at the young age of 61.
Among Joel’s proudest accomplishments:
In August of 2007, Joel and Patsy Levitt were enjoying a ten-day luxury Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona, Spain to Florence, Italy. Joel had never taken more than ten days off in a single year, let alone ten straight on a luxury boat, visiting the most prestigious resort and coast towns of Europe. While on this delightful vacation, Joel first started experiencing the effects of his (eventually fatal) disease. Despite the memory loss and spatial coordination issues, Joel was still able to enjoy taking in the beautiful and stimulating sights, sounds, tastes and smells of the Mediterranean’s finest coastal ports.
Upon returning home from this great getaway, Joel went immediately to Abington Hospital, where he underwent an MRI. Diagnosis: Stage III Astrocytoma - a single, inoperable tumor. He had brain cancer. The doctors would not give a prognosis.
On April 28, 2008, at 61 years of age, Joel was laid to rest, near his family members and former neighbors, at the Roosevelt Memorial Cemetery. He left behind Patsy, his supportive wife of forty years, daughter Sara, sons Adam and Chad, his mother, his three brothers, a granddaughter, many life-long friends, and fifty faithful employees, all of whose lives he positively touched.
In 2009, Joel’s spirit moved his family to begin a memorial fund in his name and to host one annual event - our fishing tournament boat cruise and barbeque awards dinner and raffle. Our annual day is held in Margate City, New Jersey - home to Joel’s beach, getaway, resort, second home and playground.
All ‘Joel H Levitt Memorial Charitable Fund’ net proceeds are annually forwarded directly to the National Brain Tumor Society. Joel’s fund was legally chartered in 2010 due to the generous pro bono work of the Cozen O’Connor law firm, as well as the generous support of Joel’s identical twin brother, Dr. Richard Levitt, of Northfield, NJ.
The Fund’s Mission Statement - All net proceeds received shall be gifted to causes supporting brain tumor research, education, cures, and victim and family support. The Board of Directors’ current short-term goal is to reach the level of support required by the National Brain Tumor Society to fund a one-year research grant in Joel’s memory and honor.