Shirley Levis, 97, for the past five years a resident of Sebastopol, died February 10, 2021, with her son and caretaker Andrew by her side.
Mom enjoyed outings to the Love Choir in Sebastopol and to Friday afternoon dances at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa.
A native of Chicago, where she spent more than 90 years of her life, Shirley was a revolutionary as a young adult. While raising four boys, she earned a Bachelor’s and two Masters degrees. Shirley worked in Chicago as a clinical social worker for a variety of agencies, including the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, Catholic Charities, and the Illinois Institute for the Visually Handicapped. After earning a Doctorate in Social Work at the age of 71, she also maintained a private practice in Wilmette, Il. until dementia caused her retirement at the age of 92.
Shirley married the late Benjamin Levis in 1945, and they lived together in Evanston for thirty years before relocating to Wilmette. She especially enjoyed classical and baroque music. As an accomplished musician, she played piano throughout her life. She loved people and was a versatile conversationalist and an engaged, caring listener.
Shirley is survived by her four sons: Leonard, of Berkeley, CA; Kenneth, of Manhattan; Andrew, of Sebastopol, CA; and Walter, of the Bronx. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Her Sonoma County-raised grandchildren are Lyla Clayre (lylaclayre.com), Zakaria Jacob, and Ari Jared.
A funeral was held in Wilmette on Tuesday February 16, 2021. The family requests that people who would like to honor the memory of Shirley make a donation to the charity of their choice.