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Chaya Sarah Levine passed away peacefully in Tempe, Arizona on December 7, 2018 with family by her side after a long illness. Chaya was born on July 31, 1948 in Waterville, Maine to Aaron Levine, a naturalized citizen from Poland, and Mary (Wood) Levine of Fairfield, Maine. Chaya and her three brothers were raised in Waterville. In her youth she was a gymnast, en point ballerina, and drill team leader. She was very close with her maternal grandparents Hazel Ardis Wood & Prescott Wood of Fairfield, and enjoyed spending time with her many aunts, uncles, and cousins. When Chaya graduated from Waterville High School 1966, she married and moved to Boston for a handful of years before traveling in Europe and working on a kibbutz in Israel. She fervently believed in equal rights for women and was a charter member of the National Organization of Women. When she married, Maine law required women to take their husband’s name. Chaya successfully lobbied the Maine State Legislature to change this law, thus ensuring that generations of women to come would have the choice to keep their maiden name when they married. She was also committed to bettering her community as an active member of Hadassah. For decades, Chaya surrounded herself with children. She was a beloved mother to her daughter, Zhene Goldsmith Lejuwaan, and son, Jesse Goldsmith, and dedicated herself to raising her children as a proud stay-at-home parent in Bangor. Chaya attended Boston University, the University of Maine, and Florida Atlantic University, ultimately receiving her Master’s Degree in Special Education. She taught elementary school in the Palm Beach, Florida public school system. She thrived at making such a huge difference in the lives of her largely underprivileged students and was honored as Palm Beach County educator of the year. Chaya later retired to Scottsdale, Arizona. Chaya was predeceased by her parents, her brothers Paul (Fievel) Levine and Steven Levine, and her nephew Michael Levine. She is survived by her brother Matthew Levine, her two children, her nieces Rebecca Levine Coley, Nicole Levine, Alysha Levine, and Rachel Levine Ziminski, her son-in-law Randal Lejuwaan, grandchildren Grayson and Reese Lejuwaan, her daughter-in-law Jennifer Goldsmith, her step-grandchildren Kaylee, Abigail, Chase, and Ethen McGowan, her former husband Jerome Goldsmith, and her dear friend Mary Finnegan. Services will be held at the Jewish Funeral Home, 471 Deering Avenue in Portland on Tuesday, December 11, at 1pm. Chaya had a life-long love of animals. In lieu of flowers, her family requests that donations be made in Chaya’s name to the Humane Society Waterville Area.
Thank you to Karen Kornetsky Levine for the information
People: Jerome Goldsmith ; Chaya Sarah Levine ; Randal Lejuwaan ; Matthew Levine ; Steven Levine ; Paul (Fievel) Levine ; Jesse Goldsmith ; Zhene Goldsmith Lejuwaan ; Hazel Ardis Wood
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