KENT-Robert P. Levine of Kent, Connecticut passed away at home in North Kent on February 5, surrounded by his loving family and the beautiful rolling hills of Northwest, Connecticut. Mr. Levine was 81 years old and lived his life in New York City, Ardsley, N.Y., and Kent, Conn.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Levine attended Brooklyn College and Harvard Law School. An attorney in private practice in Manhattan for almost 60 years, he was committed to civil rights, social justice, and democratic causes. His legacy of public service includes a wide range of interests and organizations.
In 1965, following the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi, Mr. Levine joined President Kennedy's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He was sent to Mississippi to investigate legal practices and the disenfranchisement of African American voters in the South.
In the late 1960s he co-founded Westchester Legal Services, an organization that provides legal services for poor and low-income individuals for non-criminal matters. In the 1970s, in addition to his legal practice, he served as Acting Justice for the Village of Ardsley, N.Y.
Mr. Levine discovered Kent in the early 1970s while researching a case. Surprised to find such a perfect New England town so close to New York, he and his wife bought land and built a small weekend home. In Kent he devoted time and energy to Kent Affordable Housing, an organization of which he served as president. During his presidency he helped South Commons, a 24-unit affordable housing development, become a reality. He was elected to the Board of Assessment Appeals for the Town, and also served on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. Levine was a member of the Kent Democratic Town Committee and participated in political campaigns at the local, state, and national level.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Dr. Betty Krasne; his son, Thomas Levine of West Cornwall, Conn; his son Jonathan and his wife Heather Haggerty, of Piedmont, Calif.; his daughter Kate Hewitt and her husband Benjamin of Los Angeles; his grandchildren Madeline, Asa, James Rose, and Antonia; and many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A memorial service will be held at the Community House in Kent, Conn. in early April. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Kent Affordable Housing in Kent.
Published in Litchfield County Times from Feb. 8 to Feb. 9, 2013.