Leonard L. Levenstein (Len) passed peacefully on September 16, lovingly surrounded by his closest family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Max and Annette, and is survived by his wife, CJ, his life partner, Karen, his sister, Judy and brother in law, Randy, his daughter, Karen and her sons, Greg and Brett , his son, Jay and his wife, Maryellen and their daughter, Jessica, and his special family Kim, Quinton, Jett and Brianna. He left a host of very special cousins - Candy Levine, Alan and Lisa Herman, Robert Herman, Normie and Eileen Jacobs, and Ira Greenstein. Len enjoyed a special relationship with his nephew David and his family. Also surviving him was his dear friend of 75 years, Len Coren as well as George and Sharon Johnnides and their children who were very special to him, and Jordan and Gale Davis who have been very important people in Len's life. Len left a host of beloved friends, many of these friendships started during his years at the University of Florida at the PiLam fraternity. To his many business and social friends, know that he cherished all these relationships and valued your friendships very much. Len is also survived by his adopted Gainesville family, Ivan and Aimee Oelrich and their children, Nick, Ashley and Grace. Len was born in Newark, NJ on March 21, 1932 into an extended family of aunts and uncles and enjoyed life as the "Prince of Belmont Avenue." The family moved to Florida where Len graduated Miami Senior High School, the University of Florida and the University of Miami Law School. His days at Florida as a PiLam gave him many lifelong brothers and friends. He served in the Army in the Korean war in the 82nd Airborne and was discharged as a Captain. Len enjoyed many accomplishments in his life. He started as a successful attorney and knew he had a wonderful law partner in Jon Burke. He went on to become a Judge and Chairman of the Dade County Zoning Appeals Board. He founded First City Bank of Dade County, was a real estate developer and speculator and developed and built many projects in the Dade County area. Being a restaurateur and operator of the Checkmate Lounge in South Miami and partner in the Tampa Bay Bandits, were just a few of his many ventures. Len lived his life to the fullest. He enjoyed boating and having the Caribbean playground in his backyard. He was the center of attention at many blackjack tables throughout the world. He was known as a formidable handball and racquetball player and always managed to include his family and friends in his many business ventures and social activities. A Memorial service will be held Friday, Sept. 20 at 1:00 pm at Riverside Gordon Memorial Chapel at Mount Nebo (Kendall), 5900 SW 77 Avenue, Miami, FL , with Shiva immediately following at the home of George and Sharon Johnnides, 6500 Granada, Coral Gables, FL. A Celebration of Len's Life Party will be hosted at Len's Gainesville home (Third Act Acres) on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 4 pm. The family wishes to express their deepest gratitude to the caregivers, doctors and nurses at North Florida Regional Medical Center, and to Len's many Gainesville doctors who cared for him these past years.
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Published in Sun-Sentinel from Sept. 18 to Sept. 20, 2013