Harris Harold Levee (Age 97)
ON September 2, 2016
of Gaithersburg, MD. cherished husband of 74 years to Pearl Rosner Levee, loving father of
son Stephen Levee (Pat), daughter Leslie (James) Weightman, beloved sister to Rhoda Aiello,
adored grandfather of Karen Paris, Eric (Rebecca) Suissa, Josh Levee, Colin (Cyndi) McHugh,
Valerie (Michael) Gormley and special great grandfather to 10 great grandchildren. He was also
Uncle and great Uncle to many nieces and nephews.
Hal was born on August 9, 1919 in Brooklyn, NY to Joseph George Levee (Brooklyn born) and
Stella Segal from Edinborough, Scotland. He grew up assisting his father, Joe, as a plumber's
assistant and worked in a sheet metal shop. He attended PS 206 and Brooklyn Tech High
School. In 1939 he enrolled as a mechanical engineering student in The Cooper Union for the
Advancement of Science and Art before he was drafted into the Army in 1943. As a standout,
he was selected from basic training to work on the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago
in Enrico Fermi's lab (1943-1945). After the war, he graduated from the Illinois Institute of
Technology with a degree in Mechanical Engineering (1948).
He moved back to New York in 1950 to design and manage the electrical power plants for Gibbs
and Hill including plants in Deepwater at the I-95 Delaware River Bridge, as well as plants in
Italy and India. Hal was the project manager and the very first person to test the prototype for
the first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus, a project for which Admiral Rickover was known.
Hal and Pearl moved to Wash. D.C. in 1967 when he became Executive VP of the Norair Construction
companies. He was selected to Mayor Walter Washington's EEO Task Force and
served as an Arbitration Judge involving Construction issues.
He founded Halco Engineering in 1974 . Projects included water and waste-water treatment
plants, the fountain on the East side of the White House and many of the Metro Station
projects during their original construction phase.
1977-Served as President of the Mechanical Contractors DC Association.
1980-84 served as President of the Sea Colony Condo Building Association.
In 1990 he became Chief Estimator of Joshua Construction, his son's mechanical contracting
firm until 2007, retiring at 88 years old.
He and Pearl traveled extensively and actually went around the world in 80 days. Hal loved all
sports and was a natural athlete who played tennis until his mid-80's and golf until age 95. He
was a national handball champion in his youth. Hal was an avid bridge player as well. He was a
voracious reader and learned Italian as well as Spanish. Interviews of his work on the Manhattan
Project are available on the Atomic Heritage Foundation website and the World War II Library
in New Orleans.
A funeral service will be held at Temple Beth Ami at 2:00pm on Sunday, September 4th.
with interment at 3:30 pm at Judean Gardens on Georgia Av in Olney, MD. The family will welcome
guests following the funeral at the home of Steve and Pat Levee 9411 Overlea Dr
Rockville with services at 7:00pm. Shiva will be held Monday night at his home at 120 Chevy
Chase ST #406 Gaithersburg on Monday with services at 7:00 pm.
Donations in his memory can be made to The Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, The
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, or the Illinois Institute of Technology in
14330 Travilah Road
Rockville, MD, 20850