Arthur Levy

Courtesy of Diana Eva Levy Lofstrom, granddaughter

Birth: July 1, 1885 in Seattle, Washington

Death: November 14, 1961 (age 76) in Victoria, B.C.

Gravesite Details: Row G – Plot 3

Arthur Levy was born in Seattle in 1885 to Henry Emanuel (H.E.) Levy and Eva Rostein Levy. The family moved to Victoria when Arthur was 4.  Arthur Levy took over the infamous Levy’s Restaurant when his father retired. He closed the restaurant in 1914 and opened The Poodle Dog Cafe which soon became a local hangout. Arthur named the daily specials after his sisters.

While in Nanaimo, Arthur Levy met Amelia-Violet Hilbert.  Her father had been the mayor of Nanaimo and the family were members of the Church of England. Amelia-Violet Hilbert, who preferred to be called Violet, was a divorcee with a daughter. When the relationship with Arthur Levy became serious, daughter Dorothy Haggart, was left in the care of Violet’s sister.

Arthur and Violet married in Vancouver on November 25, 1907. Not long after that After Arthur took Violet to Seattle and remarried her so that she could have American citizenship. The couple lived in Victoria at 2667 Empire St.  They had 3 children, Emmanuel Victor Arthur, Eva Virginia, and Dorothy. Their son is named after Arthur’s mother by choosing three names whose first letters spell Eva.

In retirement Arthur Levy devoted himself to fulfilling his dream of world peace. Letter writing became his passion. He wrote to heads of state, urging cooperation. Among the cards he received were notes from Nasser and Ben-Gurion.  He was constantly writing to newspapers on a wide range of topics, including the idea of having cruise ships dock at Ogden Point. Although his letters were sometimes rejected, he campaigned tirelessly for peace for 17 years.

Courtesy of Diana Eva Levy Lofstrom, granddaughter

For a time, Arthur and Violet Levy lived in a little cottage on a property in Deep Cove, North Vancouver. Arthur wanted to develop it as a vacation get-away. However, when Violet died, Arthur sold the property and returned to Victoria. He lived at 547 Michigan Street where he always kept a sack of grain so that he could pursue another passion; feeding the ducks in Beacon Hill Park.

Arthur Levy had a good sense of humor, and a strong connection with his family.  He wrote a letter to his first great-grandchild. In it, Arthur states that he was so excited with the news that he burned his toast the night his great-grandson was born.

During the mid-twentieth century Arthur Levy was strongly involved in reclaiming the cemetery from it’s having been neglected for many years. To that end, in 1948, he bought a gravestone for his father’s aunt Elizabeth (Betsy), his grandmother Esther, and his Uncle Jacob (Jack Levy).

Unable to locate the grave of Judge Samuel Schultz, Arthur Levy purchase a marker stone for him.

When Arthur Levy got his affairs in order, he inquired about having his burial plot near the family grave. However, there wasn’t room there so he was given a plot close to his aunt Phoebe and her family. Although Arthur Levy had no intentions of being buried, having a place in the Jewish Cemetery was important to him. To that end, he bought a headstone and had it placed in the cemetery. Thinking that he’d live to be as old as his father, a birth and death date were inscribed before the headstone was placed.  However, Arthur Levy predeceased his prediction. Rather than ordering a new stone, the date of his death was etched on top of the existing date. His son Emmanuel Victor Arthur Levy (1909-1983) honored his father’s wishes and cremated his father’s remains. When Emmanuel died, he too was cremated. A marker stone was placed on the same plot as his father’s marker stone.

There is no one buried in that grave.

There is a plaque on the grave with the name of his son, Emanuel Victor Arthur Levy (1909 – 1983) engraved on it. He is not buried in that plot.

His daughter, Diana Levy Lofstrom wrote the following about her father:
Emanuel Victor Arthur [Manny] was born in Victoria at 1316 Government Street to Amelia Violet Hilbert Haggart and Arthur Levy. He was raised in a non-Jewish household in a Spanish-style home at 2667 Empire Street built by his father (Arthur Levy) in 1913. His sister, Virginia, was born one year later and as children climbed in the big Garry oaks. They had a nurse and chauffeur. The Levy family owned race horses and like nomads, traveled mainly the West Coast of the United States following the races.

Manny’s life in Victoria included him telling stories about winning many foot races at school. He attributed this to his mother cutting his hair like Little Lord Fauntroy and he was chased home regularly. He went to Victoria High School and in 1927 took part in ‘Loud Sock & tie day’.

As an adult, Manny made a living playing poker in Victoria when the chiefs of fire and police came to play upstairs of his Grandfather’s restaurant. He worked in the family restaurants like Levy’s Oyster Bar, Arthur’s Sandwich Shoppe [1308 Government Street] and Poodle Dog.

In 1928 Eva, ever the Jewish grandmother, brought a ‘rich girl from Germany’ for him to marry, but he met Victoria-born Dorothy Quaintance Leonard. He fell for her and they married in 1937 in Vancouver, where they settled.

In Memoriam of
Arthur Levy
son of H.E. & Eva Levy
1885 – 1960

Eva Rostein Levy (1862-1946)
Henry Emanuel (H.E.) (Levy 1843-1929)

Amelia Violet Hilbert Levy (1880-1947)

Emanuel (Manny) Victor Levy
Eva Virginia Levy Pargement
Dorothy A. Levy Caldom

Benjamin Levy (1886-1905)
Victor A. Levy (1981-1939)

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