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Published: Saturday, 10/4/2008

'Money man' at real estate firm an artist, WW II vet

Samuel S. Levin, 90, longtime secretary-treasurer for a Toledo real estate firm that developed subdivisions in the post-World War II house-building boom, died yesterday in Kingston Care Center of Sylvania from complications of pneumonia.

Mr. Levin of West Toledo went to the facility after an apparent stroke in April, his wife, Yvette, said.

He retired in the 1980s as secretary-treasurer of the R.G. Dunbar Real Estate Co., a position to which he had been hired in 1949. The firm and its founder, Roger G. Dunbar, developed homes and subdivisions for returning veterans and their new families.

Mr. Levin "was the money man," his wife said. "He knew every attorney and every banker in the city of Toledo.

"He was a very meticulous man. Everything had to be in its place," she said. "Not fussy. He just enjoyed working with figures."

He also ran the firm's insurance operation for many years, said Frank Szymanski, president of Dunbar Real Estate and the late Mr. Dunbar's stepson.

"He was very close [to] and trusted by Mr. Dunbar," Mr. Szymanski said. "He was a strict, hard-working guy, and he was a very good numbers man. I had a lot of respect for Sam."

Mr. Levin sold residential real estate for a year or two after he retired.

He grew up on Walnut Street in North Toledo and was a 1936 graduate of Woodward High School. He received a bachelor of business administration degree in 1940 from the University of Toledo.

He was a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II and was aboard a vessel that patrolled the Pacific Coast from the Aleutians to Mexico, his wife said.

He took piano lessons, computer lessons, and other adult education courses at UT in retirement.

He became a skilled glass artist, captivated by "the challenge of producing something that was beautiful and could be used," his wife said.

He had a home studio, and his creations included 1,000-piece glass chandeliers and flat glass panels with special designs.

He was a member of Congregation B'nai Israel and enjoyed travels in the United States and Europe with his wife.

He was a life member of the Goodman-Goldstein VFW Post. His pet charity was the Boys & Girls Clubs of Toledo because "they provided so much for children during the Depression," his wife said.

Surviving are his wife, Yvette Levin, whom he married Aug. 27, 1950; son, Dr. Michael Levin, and daughter, Barbara Levin.

Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the Robert H. Wick/Wisniewski Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor's choice.

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