Bert Levine, of Wayland, MA and Biddeford, ME, formerly of Bridgewater NJ, passed away peacefully at home on August 29th at the age of 79 years old. Bert was a devoted husband, a loving father, and a doting grandfather. He will be forever remembered for his integrity, generosity, and unfailing sense of humor, and he will be deeply missed by the family and friends he leaves behind.
Bert was born in Suffern, NY on May 18, 1941 to Charles and Ruth Levine. He attended New York Military Academy, Colgate University, and St. John’s Law School. His career began as an advance man and a legislative assistant to Gov. Nelson Rockefeller. After law school, he worked on Capitol Hill in several positions, primarily as counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, working mainly on health policy, while he continued to enjoy working on political campaigns.
Bert later moved to New Jersey to join Johnson & Johnson as a lobbyist and eventually became the Vice President of Federal Government Relations. After twenty years working with J&J, he decided to change careers entirely, earned a PhD in political science from Rutgers University, and spent the next part of his life teaching at Rutgers, Colgate, Bucknell, and UPenn. He was the Charles Evans Hughes Fellow in Political Science Emeritus at Colgate University. He authored two books and several articles on lobbying and interest groups including “The Art of Lobbying: Building Trust and Selling Policy” which is still used in college classrooms today. Bert was seriously dyslexic so the fact that he earned both a JD and a PhD was nothing short of miraculous and an example of his great tenacity.
As a frequent blood donor (the literal poster boy for donations) at Johnson and Johnson, as the President of the Martinsville NJ Fire Department, as an active volunteer at the Green Door Behavioral Health Clinic in Washington DC, or traveling to Winnie, Texas to build houses for Habitat for Humanity, civic and charitable contribution and action was a central part of Bert’s life. He was a man who always chose to do the right thing.
But far more important to Bert than all of his professional and civic accomplishments was his family. He was a deeply loving man who was most happy when he was holding his wife’s hand, watching baseball with his son, talking with his daughter, sharing a meal with his friends, and reading to his grandkids (or “falling” into the swimming pool for their amusement). The love Bert gave will never die.
Bert is survived by his wife of 54 years, Shelly Brown Levine, his daughter and son-in-law Robin and Matt Freeman of Wayland MA, his son and daughter-in-law Michael and Ebony Levine of Houston TX, his five grandchildren: Sawyer, Colby, and Wesley Freeman; and P.J. and Payton Levine, and his beloved Golden Retriever, Junior.
Services will be private. Contributions can be made in Bert’s memory to the Malcolm Isaac Freeman Endowed Scholarship at Colgate University, Hamilton NY https://alumni.colgate.edu/makeagift