A woman who meant well, Miriam S. Levinson passed away on Thursday, December 7, 2017, at the age of 94. Mimi, as she was known to friends and family, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the oldest of two strong-willed daughters of Anna Milner and William Spero. She grew up in the east end of Cleveland, graduating from Cleveland Heights High School with a love of music. Mimi went to Flora Stone Mather College for Women, currently a part of Case Western Reserve University, earning a music education degree in piano and minoring in Russian history. While Mimi loved all kinds of music, she was a visible part of the Cleveland classical music culture, playing and teaching. She married Jacob Levinson on July 4, 1954, who brought her to Warren, Pa., where he worked with his brothers, Nahum and Bert, in the Betty Lee women’s clothing store and Levinson Brothers department store.
The family grew quickly and by 1960 her four children — Harry, Lee Ann, Daniel, and Sarah Beth — were playing on Henry Street and the surrounding neighborhoods and parks. In the mid-1960s, Miriam Levinson became a sought-after piano teacher in Warren County. She continued to teach for the next 40 years, bringing the pain of practicing and joy of music to multiple generations of children. She and her husband and her family enjoyed music, art, and theater everywhere they traveled and continually supported local fine arts organizations in Warren and Chautauqua. Mimi was a lifetime member of Philomel, and was one of the founders of the Warren Summer Music School. She enjoyed movies and shows at the Struthers Library Theater, as well as exhibits at the Crary Art Museum. In addition, she loved reading and owning books; you couldn’t keep her away from the Warren Public Library, various book clubs, or any open book store. She also participated for decades in the Woman’s Club of Warren and the League of Women Voters. In later years she was an active volunteer for Hospice of Warren County and had a second career as a music therapist for young and old.
As an active member of the Tiferith Israel Jewish Congregation in Warren, she taught Sunday school and ran many congregational social activities. Mimi expected a lot but also made sure to take care of her family, friends and anyone she met. For her kids, she packed lunches and made hot meals that gave her children a fine appreciation of cafeteria and restaurant meals. She loved her grandchildren, giving them music lessons and letting them win any and all games. Her friends knew they could ask her to do anything and she would end up doing it all. When she saw something wrong in the world, she would make sure that that the offending person would know she didn’t approve.
Mimi was preceded in death by her husband Jake in 1995, and her daughter, Lee Ann, in 2016. She is survived by her daughter, Sarah Beth (Rick) Bernard; two sons, Harry (Lisa) of Pittsburgh, Pa. and Dan (Becky Sutton) of Heber, Utah; her sister, Rhoda S. Feldman of Englewood Cliffs, N.J.; nine grandchildren: Hannah (Mark Broschinsky) Levinson of New York City; Howard (Natalie) Levinson of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Sam Levinson of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Rachel Levinson of New York City; Ben Levinson of Los Angeles; Etta Bernard of New York City; Anna (Yudi) Weiss of Detroit, Mich.; Chaya (Menachem) Rimmler of Baltimore, Md.; Tifra Bernard of New York City and many nieces, nephews and friends who knew her as Aunt Mimi. Funeral services and burial will take place on December 10, 2017, at noon at the Oakland Cemetery in Indiana, Pa. The family would appreciate memorial donations to any Warren, Pa. music, theater, or book-related nonprofit organization. In mourning at 2804 Cheswolde Road, Baltimore, MD 21209, beginning Monday through Friday.