VETERAN, UNITED STATES NAVY
Samuel Raymond "Sam" Lev, age 85, died peacefully at home in Shelton, WA, on December 19, 2023, after a seven-year battle with cancer.
Sam was the youngest of three children born to Edwin Samuel Lev and Violet Myrtle Kittleson in Sheboygan, WI. He graduated from Sheboygan Falls High School in 1957 and attended the University of Wisconsin and Whitewater State University. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1961, attended Naval Flight School at Pensacola, completed flight training, and qualified for aircraft carrier landings. As a Naval Aviator, he flew missions in the A-1 Skyraider off the aircraft carrier "Ranger" and the A-4 Skyhawk off the aircraft carrier "Intrepid" earning the rank of Lieutenant and various medals during his service. After resigning his commission in 1968, he and his family moved to Minneapolis, MN for Northwest Airlines training, then to Seattle, WA where he continued his flying career, piloting both domestic and international flights.
Sam and Irene met in college, were married on December 28th, 1963, and celebrated 60 loving years together. They moved from Seattle to Shelton, WA in 1978 and enjoyed their time together on Totten Inlet raising their three children, fishing, growing oysters/geoduck/clams, and gardening. Sam was a devoted husband, father, friend, and coach. He supported his kids and grandkids in their sports and school events and loved spending time with family, friends, and Navy buddies sharing stories, food, and a good laugh. He enjoyed many different pastimes, including boating and fishing, golfing, carving birds, wood burning, and painting. He could often be found on the tractor landscaping, hauling rocks, and renovating the garden and orchard. He was strong, kind, and generous, always willing to lend a hand, whether driving someone to the store for weekly shopping trips, volunteering at church, or helping others with building, moving, hauling, or other odd jobs. Lev's Leisurely Lodge was a popular vacation spot for family and friends, and Sam and Irene hosted many gatherings filled with fun, laughter, and amazing food.
Sam is survived by his beloved wife Irene, children Brian (Kimberlee) Lev of Shelton, WA, Cynthia (Curt) Easley of Vancouver, WA, and Bradly Lev of Shelton, WA; his grandchildren Nolan Lev-Byrne and Nathan Lev, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters Geraldine Belasco and Janice Dowyak.
His memorial service will be held February 23rd, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Edwards Church in Shelton, WA. Interment will be held at the Tahoma National Cemetery on March 8th, 2024 at 11:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society at [email protected] or your favorite charity.