Buzzy Levin, Malloves Jewelers of Middletown owner, was a generous GHTBL sponsor.
Jerome “Buzzy” Levin, 90, passed away in the early hours of June 2, 2017. His last days were spent in his hometown of Middletown, Connecticut, surrounded by his loving family, friends and the wonderful staff on the 7th floor of Middlesex Hospital. Buzzy was born on September 24, 1926, in Middletown where he lived alongside his beautiful wife of nearly 60 years, Harriet Levin. Buzzy believed in family and community above all from the very beginning.
After enduring the loss of his father, Max Levin, at the young age of 13 and passing up the opportunity to play professional baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Buzzy took over the family business, Malloves Jewelers, from his mother, Beatrice Levin and his uncle, Joseph Levine, in 1957. Buzzy served as President of the business until 1992, when he handed over the reins to his son, Marc Levin. During his years of retirement in Florida, the Malloves staff, whom Buzzy thought of as family, welcomed him back with open arms to work in the store throughout the summer and Christmas holidays.
Whether Buzzy was volunteering as the bat boy for the Wesleyan baseball team under Jack Blott, playing semipro ball in the starting lineup for the Middletown Giants from 1941 until 1951, or earning himself one of three lifetime hole-in-ones on the golf course, Buzzy was happiest when a ball, bat and club were within reach. In 1948, alongside Bernie O’Rourke, Buzzy founded the Middletown Chapter of Little League baseball. Within 2 years of starting the first chapter in New England, they had 160 chapters up and running throughout the area.
Buzzy served as the President of the Middletown Chapter for 7 years and the Little League District 9 Commissioner for 33 years, instituting a rule at both the local and national level which stated that every player on a team had to bat once and complete a full inning on the field, ensuring that all kids were given a fair chance to play the game he loved most. Buzzy was a lifetime member of the Middletown Little League Association.
After sponsoring a Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League from 1980 until 1993, Buzzy went on to help college players in the New England area compete on the same level as the players in the Cape Cod League by organizing the first New England Collegiate Baseball League and establishing a franchise in Middletown, for which he served as the General Manager for 8 years. Buzzy was the driving force behind the installation of lights at Palmer Field.
Buzzy proudly served on the Middletown Common Council from 1964 until 1975, playing a vocal role in every commission and committee during his 6 terms in office. He was a lifelong member of Congregation Adath Israel Synagogue, the same synagogue his father rebuilt in 1929, where he followed in his father’s footsteps by assuming the role of President from 1969 to 1971.
He was also a member of the Middletown Elks, the Kiwanis Club, the B’Nai B’rith, the Middletown Jaycees, the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, the Connecticut Retail Jewelers Association (Vice President), the Middletown Transit Authority, the Middletown Park and Recreation Board (Chairman for 9 years), the Russell Library Building Committee and the Middletown High School Building Committee. In addition, he served as Corporator of both Middlesex Hospital and Liberty Bank, and sat on the Board of Home Bank. As someone who valued the importance of old friendships, Buzzy was instrumental in coordinating the Woodrow Wilson High School Class of 1944 reunions for over 65 years.
He was inducted into the Greater Hartford Twilight League Hall of Fame in 1987 for his contributions as a generous sponsor of the Malloves Jewelers franchise for 14 years. Buzzy was also inducted into the Xavier Hall of Honors in 1994, and the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame in 1995. He received the Connecticut Sports Writers Good Guy Award in 1988, the Middlesex County Chamber Distinguished Citizen Award in 1996, and the NECBL Executive of the Year Award in 2001.
Upon retiring to Florida in 1992, Buzzy served as President of the Foxhollow Condominium Association and was elected to a seat on the Foxfire Country Club Board. Buzzy will be forever missed and his legacy carried on by his wife, Harriet, his children, Marc (Judith) Levin and Faith (Craig) Irwin, his grandchildren, Marissa and Billy Irwin, his three grand dogs, Maggie, Daisy and Willow, and his beloved Malloves family.