His death came after a two-year battle with malignant fibrous histiocytoma cancer, at his home in Brewster, on Cape Cod.
Mr. Levenson grew up in Cranston, RI. He was a US Army and US Air Force veteran, first in the Army from 1953 to 1956 and then the Air Force from 1961 to 1965. Between stints in the military, he found what would become his life’s occupation in 1958, working at Gus Sunne’s Ski Shop in West Dover, at the current location of West Dover Joe’s Market and Deli. He slept above the store.
He was able to include skiing in his Air Force activities, receiving a letter of thanks for organizing the Ski Safety program at the Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado in the season of 1961-62. It reads in part: “Airman Levenson, during off-duty hours, assisted my staff in the conduct of 21 Ski Safety meetings at which 1,470 personnel of this base received ski permits, and that he also gave freely of his own time in training personnel of the base on the ski slopes of Colorado.”
After leaving the Air Force in 1965 he returned to the Deerfield Valley in Vermont and in September met Arline Ambrose, an executive assistant at Haystack Ski Area. They were married a few months later, in December 1965, at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, VT. The newlyweds managed the Haystack Ski Shop that winter of 1965-66, and in 1966 purchased the inventory and assumed the lease for Haystack Ski Shop.
In 1969, Mr. and Mrs. Levenson built and opened The Cupola, a ski retail and rental store, open year round with tennis, bicycles, and other summer sportswear, located just south of Mount Snow on Route 100.
With expert and dedicated staff, The Cupola gained a reputation as one of the leading ski shops in the region, building long-lasting relationships with customers and community alike. Mr. Levenson was a hands-on manager performing tasks of all sorts - from vacuuming before dawn each morning to purchasing the next year’s merchandise. The Cupola also operated a satellite rental location called The Annex on Route 100 in Wilmington and in the last few years of the business, a small retail store, The Cupola Downtown, on West Main Street in Wilmington.
Essential to his life in Vermont was a strong sense of community. Mr. Levenson was active in the local Lions Club, the chamber of commerce, Art on the Mountain, the Deerfield Valley elementary and high schools, and St. Mary’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church. In 1986 he and his wife jointly won the first Citizen of the Year Award, presented by the Mount Snow Chamber of Commerce.
The Levensons sold The Cupola to the owner of Mount Snow, SKI Ltd, in 1987 and they retired to Tucson, AZ. In Tucson he became active in the local Episcopal church, the Arizona Children’s Home, and the Cultural Exchange Council. Also in Tucson, he patented a mesh tote bag and started a small sewing business to produce them. He closed the business when his wife died of pancreatic cancer in 1994.
Soon after his wife’s death he sold the house in Tucson and moved to the family summer cottage in Truro, on Cape Cod. He winterized the cottage and lived there year-round until his illness caused his move to an apartment in Brewster in 2012.
He is survived by a sister-in-law, Anne Levenson, of Greenville SC; a daughter, Kathleen Levenson, of Tucson, AZ; a son, Ken Levenson, of Brooklyn, NY; one grandson; and two granddaughters.
There will be a memorial reception for Mr. Levenson this summer in Wilmington, VT. The date and location are still to be announced.