Michael R. Levy

October 20, 2023

Congregation Shirat HaYam mourns the passing of Michael Ralph Levy.
Michael is survived by his wife Joyce. Michael is also survived by his two sons, Adam and Joshua and daughters-in-law Marla and Rachel, and many loving nieces and nephews, six grandchildren, extended family, and adoring friends all of whom were enriched by every conversation they had with Michael.
Michael Levy, 93, of Newton, passed away on Friday, October 20, surrounded by family.  A long-time resident of Wayland, Michael was born in Boston on January 2, 1930.  He was the only child of William and Eunice Isenberg Levy.  Michael’s long and rich life was filled with service:  to his country in war, to his community, to his faith, and to his family.  He was married for 67 wonderful years to Joyce (nee Sasson) and their partnership was a beautiful model of devotion, growth, learning, acceptance and love.

Michael grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts and graduated from Worcester Academy.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from The College of William and Mary in 1951 and immediately joined the United States Navy, enrolling in Officers Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island.  Michael bravely served as Lieutenant J.G. on the destroyer USS McGowan (DD678) during combat in the Korean War, receiving four separate medals during his three years of service.  Michael was very proud of his service and credited his time in the Navy for one of his most enduring life skills: grace under pressure.

Michael served his community for several years as Chairman of the Wayland School Committee, a position he devoted countless hours to, having run his campaign as the “Prepared Candidate.”  Michael served his faith as a founder and president of Temple Beth Am in Framingham, and later as a trustee of Congregation Shirat HaYam in Nantucket.

Michael had a long and fruitful career in business, first as an engineer in the emerging electronics field of the 1950’s, where he designed components for the Apollo missions, and later as a ‘serial entrepreneur’ in the microprocessor and software industries.  Then later in his career, Michael was the founder and CEO of ProfitLogic of Cambridge, a venture-backed artificial intelligence company, eventually sold to Oracle in 2005.

Michael and Joyce enjoyed a productive retirement including attending the Harvard Institute for Learning (HILR), where Michael taught courses.  Michael traveled the world with Joyce and often with their grandchildren, from Alaska to Australia to Africa to India to China.  Michael’s final years were spent “learning, loving and laughing” with new friends at Lasell Village in Newton.

Michael was persistently curious and a life-long tinkerer.  He was a licensed pilot and an award-winning amateur photographer.  Then there was that wooden boat he just had to build by hand.  He never stopped.  As he entered his 10th decade, Michael taught himself how to craft high-quality fountain pens from scratch.  And the list of broken objects Michael fixed along the way is legendary.

For all his accomplishments, Michael will be mostly remembered by his friends and family for his limitless font of wisdom, knowledge, deep conversation, genuine warmth and authenticity.   He also shared his “loving” impatience when his family failed to do ‘it’ correctly or fiddled without purpose.

Michael shared a deep and special relationship with each of his six grandchildren: Alexandra, Isaac, Samuel, Gabriel, Shay and Maxwell, to whom he guided and doted on with devoted relish.  Family life was centered in Joyce and Michael’s beloved Nantucket, where they met by chance on Jetties Beach in 1955.  Many summer evenings were spent devouring Papa’s chicken along with his special Gin and Tonics and many days were spent enjoying the bucolic view from the deck that brought Michael solace and joy.  Michael and Joyce built many traditions with friends and family, which enriched their retirement years.

A celebration of Michael’s life will be held at 11:30AM on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at Temple Beth Elohim, 10 Bethel Road, Wellesley, MA.  Burial to follow in Sharon Memorial Park.  Shiva will then be held at the home of Joshua Levy and Rachel Rock in Newton through 7:30 pm that day.  All friends and family are invited to come together to share stories and memories of Michael’s long and incredible life. Memorial donations may be made in Michael Levy’s name to the Adult Leukemia Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where Michael received outstanding and compassionate care.

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