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Bob Levy

1931 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Bob Levy Obituary
Bob Levy

Toms River - 1931-2018 Bob Levy was born and raised in Lakewood, N.J., the son of Abe and Maxine Levy who named him Robert, but rarely was he ever known as other than "Bob" except for his first few years spent as "Bobby."

A lifetime resident of Ocean County, he graduated from Lakewood High School in 1949 where he played on the football and basketball teams after which he enrolled at the University of Miami. Rather than finishing college, he enlisted in the Navy and served four years as a parachute rigger during the Korean War. While still in the Navy, he married his high school heartthrob, Natalie Martinoff.

After discharge from the Navy, he began working at and eventually became president of the Lakewood Oil Company, a family business. Much in line with his character, he initiated the motto of "your comfort is our concern."

In addition to obligations to his young family and the family business, he devoted much time and love for many years to the Lakewood Little League and the Lakewood Lion's Club. Whether he realized it or not, the youths with whom he worked during this time were the beginning of an extended family that continued to grow until his passing.

Having long harbored admiration of sports broadcasters and a desire to be in radio, he joined WOBM and was there for the first broadcast 50 years ago. A few months ago, he was asked about his plans for the future and responded "make it to the 50th anniversary on March 1 and after that who knows."

Ironically, Bob passed peacefully on March 1 at the age of 86 from complications related to a fall late last week.

Bob wore many hats during his 50 years at WOBM - salesman, broadcaster, sports director, general manager and more. A few listeners may first recall his voice from his broadcasts of Brick and Toms River football and Lakewood basketball, but most probably know him from Topic A, a Sunday morning call in show that he created and hosted for 38 years.

Topic A became an Ocean County institution and a forum for the public to express thoughts and opinions on any subject and any side of any issue limited only by good taste in their choice of words. From the start, Bob made sure that anyone who desired access to the airwaves needed only to dial the phone and state their first name and the town in which they lived.

He must have done something right. Over the years, his guests included many well known celebrities, athletes and politicians (U.S. Senators and Governors included) and it created an opportunity for people to realize they could disagree without having to dislike one another.

Indeed well read, Bob was always ready, willing and able to discuss any subject and was known as an incredibly quick wit although some might not have appreciated his wit at the time he expressed it. Appreciated or not and regardless of whatever he said, listeners could always count on one thing - that whenever he spoke, he did so as honestly and truthfully as he could.

When Bob reached the point in life when many would slow down, he sped up. He and his wife Marianne created the Bob and Marianne show in the morning. He often wondered aloud why people listened, but listen they did for 18 years. He eventually stepped down as a regular host, but Marianne continues on and Bob continued with Topic A.

His activities have been recognized and honored in many ways. He was inducted into the Lakewood High School Hall of Fame. He is the namesake of the Bob Levy Broadcast Center where all of Townsquare Media New Jersey Shore stations operate.

In 2012 and on the basis of his lifetime achievements, he was inducted as a charter member into the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. During his acceptance speech, he said what was most significant was that it was not a posthumous award. More seriously, he expressed that he did not see anything he had done as an achievement. He humbly, modestly and sincerely expressed that anything he had done was simply meeting the same obligation carried by any and all who had a voice to the public.

Among the many who will remember him and the very many he thought of as family, he is survived by his wife Marianne, brother Eddie and his wife Beverly, daughter Karen Taylor and her husband Mike, son Steven and his wife Gabrielle, step-daughter Erica Harper and her husband Jay and their children Giavanna and Deegan, Justin Weaver who he embraced as his own from the age of five and his beloved puppies.

The family thanks Rosemary Lipari and Kevin Williams for decades of what were very, very special friendships for Bob.

The family is grateful for all expressions of condolences and, as demonstrated by the way he lived his life, thinks that Bob would be grateful if we all go forward always striving to do more for others than we do for ourselves.

In accordance with his wishes, there will be a private cremation. A memorial gathering will be held Wednesday, March 7, 2018 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., with a 6:00 p.m. memorial service, at the Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals, 145 Saint Catherine Boulevard, Toms River, N.J.

The service is open to all and much like Topic A, any who choose to do so are invited to come forward and share stories about Bob. For those who plan to attend, attire is weekend casual and ABSOLUTELY NO TIES! Would Bob want it any other way?

Much more about Bob and the history of WOBM can be found at

Please tune in this Sunday for a very special edition of Topic A: Bob Levy: The Final Topic. Jeremy Grunin and Kevin Williams will host a Celebration of Life this Sunday, March 4th beginning at 6:30 a.m., and simulcast on 92.7 WOBM and Beach Radio 1160 & 1310 AM.
Published in Asbury Park Press on Mar. 4, 2018
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