Leonard Levine passed away peacefully on April 8 at the age of 90. He was born in Atlantic City, NJ days before the Great Depression. Len began working at a very young age with all his meager earnings going toward a college fund. Education was his avenue to escape poverty. Always top of his class, he graduated valedictorian of his high school class, Phi Beta Kappa at Rutgers University, and PhD from Columbia University. Leonard's studies were interrupted by induction into the army during the Korean War. He served as a medical researcher at Walter Reed Hospital investigating ways to minimize traumatic head injuries.
In 1960, he was the recipient of a postdoctoral U.S. Public Health Service Fellowship, which allowed him to study under Nobel Prize winner Sir Bernard Katz in London, England. Leonard was privileged to have been one of two researchers selected by Sir Bernard Katz to continue his research in electro physiology.
Upon returning from England Leonard accepted a position with the University of Virginia School of Medicine. While at UVA he published a number of scientific papers and quickly rose in the ranks to become one of the youngest tenured professors at the medical school. Leonard's love of the Pacific Northwest contributed to his decision to accept the position of Professor of Physiology at the Pacific University College of Optometry in 1966. He spent the ensuing 28 years there. He became a Distinguished Professor and was presented with the first "Outstanding Teacher" award by the students of the College of Optometry.
Following his retirement, Leonard volunteered at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Holocausts Research Center for over 20 years. As an early adopter of computers, he utilized his computer skills to tirelessly digitalize the Museum's collection of recordings of holocaust survivors and community leaders in order to preserve their histories. He was instrumental in bringing the Museum and the Holocaust Center into the 21st digital century.
Throughout Leonard's life he could be found running, hiking or mountain biking through the Pacific Northwest's many trails.
He is survived by his wife Nira, his daughter Laurie (Mike), son Ron (Connie), grandsons Matt and Eric, and sisters Florence, Loretta and Eleanor.