Clarice Adrienne Leiner Levy died on Sunday, June 19 at the age of 98. She was pre-deceased by her husband of 63 years, Arnold Levy, in 2002. She will be dearly missed by her children, Joan Layton Furth and son-in-law William Furth of Manhattan (daughter Elisabeth Layton Jacobson and her husband, Louis Jacobson and granddaughter Cynthia Jacobson and grandson Zachary Jacobson and Julie Layton Omar and her husband, Gamal Omar, of Brooklyn and grandson Karim), Andrew Harris Levy of
Manhattan and daughter-in-law Tovah Feldshuh, (daughter Amanda Ryzowy and her husband, Joel Ryzowy and son G. Brandon Levy) and Laurie Levy
Issembert and son-in-law Yves Gerard Issembert of Bethesda (son Matthew Issembert and daughter-in-law Lilli Ceaser Issembert and granddaughter Isla Issembert and
daughter, Valerie Issembert, all of Washington, DC.
Clarice was the daughter of Beatrice and Dr. Joshua H. Leiner, of New York, and is survived by her sister, Vivian L. Milstein of Scarsdale, New York, and her brother,
Robert H. Leiner and sister-in-law Mary Ann Leiner of McLean, Virginia.
Mrs. Levy graduated from Hunter College and was a concert pianist in New York. When she moved to Washington after her marriage in 1938, she studied locally with Ben Ratner, and then taught piano for most of her adult life. She also appeared on the Fred Allen Radio Amateur
Hour and, as a composer, on the Steve Allen
nationally-televised game show, Songs for Sale, where her song, The You That Used to Be, was sung by the "velvet fog" crooner, Mel Torme. Mrs. Levy's father, Dr. Joshua H. Leiner, was the first psychiatrist resident in the Bronx where he also was a highly respected neurologist.
Mrs. Levy was known for her ever-optimistic attitude and joie de vivre. A light always seemed to shine around her. She played in musical soirees with David Lloyd Kreeger,
former CEO of GEICO, and Abe Fortas, former
Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and created a musical review called The Girls from Gotham with other performers that entertained at various charity events. She brought music into the lives of her family, students, friends and strangers. She was particularly known for her interpretations of diverse music, including Chopin and the concert piece, Malaguena. Mrs. Levy could play by ear, merely by hearing a melody once. The legacy of her love for music is now nurtured by her 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren and their spouses. She was a double cancer survivor, and at the age of 95 had her life prolonged by a percutaneous heart valve replacement performed bv the pioneering team lead by Dr. Martin Leon at New York- Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
Mrs. Levy was a residential real estate agent with Legum and Norman for seventeen years and became very adept in her free time at mahjong, canasta and bridge and travelled the world with her husband. Mrs. Levy loved to shop, and developed that activity into an art form, which she learned at the knee of her mother, but perfected thereafter. Her mother's family was well known in the clothing industry on the Lower East Side of New York.
She was fiercely independent, an avid golfer then tennis player, and she drove her car until the age of 92. Later, she finally agreed to have assistance in her home, and her
life was prolonged by the devoted care of a group of wonderful, kind and heaven-sent women originally from the Philippines, Junelyn Rada, Evangeline Rada, and Elma Hidalgo.
Although she did not attend a Seder until she was 18 years old, she was a devoted Jewish woman, wife and mother, and she was a former President of the Sisterhood of the
Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington, DC.
Her husband, the late Arnold Levy, held several significant positions as a lawyer in various Federal government departments during the New Deal, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Justice Department and the Interior Department, later forming the law firm of Freedman, Levy, Kroll & Simonds.
Funeral services will be held at Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb Street, NW, Washington, DC. on Tuesday, June 21 at 11:00 am. The family will be receiving at the residence of Laurie and Gerard Issembert, 6120 Shady Oak Lane, Bethesda, MD 20817,from 5 pm to 9 pm.
The family requests that memorial donations in the name of Clarice Leiner Levy be made to the Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Please call Robin Forester at (212) 342-0934 for details.
JUN 21. 11:00 AM
Washington Hebrew Congregation
3935 Macomb St. NW
Washington, DC, 20016