ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of my mom, Derry Hunter Levy. She was a very special woman and touched so many people's lives. That is why the quote by Yeats above, one of her favorite poets, seemed so fitting for this tribute. So as we celebrate her life I wanted to create a place for those who knew her the best to share some of their memories. I look forward to reading your thoughts and stories as we celebrate a life well lived. - Sabrina Levy Bazzo
Posted by Barbara Rabiner on May 17, 2021
As a friend and neighbor at Pacific Regent, I always enjoyed my conversations with Derry. Most of all, I admired her " joie de vivre". She never let her wheelchair confine her. Derry was involved with many activities at Pacific Regent and we all appreciated her participation in these events.
She will be missed.
Posted by Lee Anna Obos on May 17, 2021
When I think of Derry Levy, the words that come to mind are intelligent, compassionate, and genuine. She could hold a conversation with anyone about any topic…and she always spoke from the heart. I remember Derry as being the most well-rounded person I ever met…and this was something I noticed about her even when I was a teenager.

I first met “Mrs. Levy”, as I called her back then, around 1971 when the Levy’s and my parents bought houses on the same cul-de-sac in Gurnee, Illinois. Almost immediately our families became close friends. Because both our family’s relatives were living on the east and west coasts; the Levys and the Soudiers started celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners together – a tradition that was to last for over 20 years – until Hank and Derry and my parents both moved to opposite coasts.

Those holiday traditions included Derry and my grandmother – both excellent cooks - doing the lion’s share of the cooking and Hank handled the carving. Through-out the delicious meal there was good conversation, classical music and laughter. After dinner on Thanksgiving, the entire group would take a walk around the neighborhood to make room for dessert.

And as the Levy/Soudier children grew and began bringing boyfriends or girlfriends and later fiancés and spouses to the annual holiday dinners, everyone was warmly welcomed at the table and embraced into the fold.

I read the remembrance Sabrina posted about her mother – “That she taught me the importance of always treating everyone with respect, no matter who they were nor what their station in life was”.

This is so true. One of the unique aspects about our parent’s friendship was, that although every adult was from a different religious background and my parents were conservative republicans while the Derry and Hank were liberal democrats, they discussed religion and politics frequently from different points of view and there were never raised voices or arguments. Everyone’s opinion was treated with respect.

Another thing I remember about Derry, was the genuine interest she had in people she met. As the oldest of the Levy/Soudier children, I was the official babysitter for several years. When the Levys would arrive home after a night out, Derry always took the time to visit with me and ask what was going on in my life. 

And once I was married and living on the east coast, and Derry had moved to the west coast, we still stayed in touch. We exchanged cards, letters, & phone calls. She and Hank visited us in NY twice. Derry and I spoke on the phone a several times a year. Our conversations included literature (we were both actively involved in book clubs), politics and our families. 

And in 2012, when my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Derry called monthly…to talk to my mother (who had moved in with us) and to talk to me. Derry was my rock during those difficult years offering support, suggestions and just listening. She was my friend, my mentor and my touchstone to happier times.

I miss Derry very much…I miss our conversations, letters and especially our friendship. When I remember Derry, I like to think of her with Hank once again, visiting with my Father at the dinner table.
Posted by Rosanne Mendicino on May 16, 2021
Remembering your mom from family events in Waukegan, Illinois to San Diego, California, she always had a warm smile for anyone who visited. She always made people feel at home & part of the family. So many great memories as well as pictures of her, surrounded by family & always with a smile on her face. Prayers and blessing thoughts to everyone in the Bazzo & Levy families.
Posted by Lydia Ikeda on May 15, 2021
Derry is an extraordinary woman in the truest sense. Whenever I think of her or see her, I think of a rebel. Not in a negative way, but quite the opposite.
She lives her life on her own terms. We all know she spent many years in a wheelchair. But how did she end up in the wheelchair? She was pruning a tree. Think about it....she was IN...A...TREE!!! How many moms do you know who climbs a tree to prune it? Do you love how independent she is? I do.

I also remember when she moved into Pacific Regents. Most people imagine their loved ones slowly moving around, spending time doing their own thing. Well, not Derry! Derry partners with physicians (Dave and Tyson) and starts an educational campaign to ensure every resident at Pacific Regents understands how important Advanced Directives are to complete!

I remember the time Derry, Sabrina, Robin, Carter, and I went to the Santee Lakes Concert by the Lake on evening. We sat there in our lawn chairs, munching on cheese and crackers, sipping wine. It was a mild summer evening and we sat watching the cover band perform Fleetwood Mac and Eagles songs. Derry and I sat there just talking and laughing and holding hands. I will never forget what a wonderful evening that was.

Derry....you always did things on your own terms and I so admire that. I miss you already but thank you so much for what you have given to all of us. You are an inspiration and my hero. 

One of Derry's greatest achievements was raising an amazing daughter named Sabrina. Sabrina embodies so much of Derry. Their kindness, caring, and strong sense of right and wrong exactly mirror each other. Even in the end, Derry did everything on her own terms. I miss her, but Derry's spirit will live on in Sabrina and that just seems so right to me.
Posted by Josette Bazzo on May 9, 2021
I have so many great memories of Derry. She was always so warm and loving. I admired how she could carry a conversation with absolutely anyone. She was a great listener and showed great interest and support in anything you were trying to accomplish. She is one of the most determined women I know. For example, I remember a time that Dave and Sabrina rented a place at the beach that was on the second floor and there wasn't an elevator. Derry wanted no help. She got out of her wheelchair and turned around backwards, sat down, and pulled herself up each stair one by one. I know the kids have such great memories of all the fun times they had at their Palm Springs home - making a mess and having a great time! She always made the most delicious desserts too! Derry treated my boys as if they were her own grandchildren and we will forever be grateful for her generosity, kindness and love. She will be missed greatly!
Posted by Brian Hotchkiss on May 4, 2021
Whether it was just the power of suggestion from family lore or, in fact, the case, I first met my Hunter cousins at the ripe old age of two. Thing is, I have a couple of what seem to be memories of Derry and Dard at their home on Cumberland Head. That was a long time ago, and the memories are vague and blurry, except they all have a soundtrack: laughter. The entire family laughed a lot, and it was infectious, but Derry materializes out of those hazy recollections as an effervescent, curious, and independent kid, even then. I know we spent more time together over the years in places like Canton and Ogdensburg, New York, but my clearest recall is of a visit Derry and Hank paid to Peter and me around 2004. They had come to Massachusetts particularly for Derry to further her genealogical research into the Robinson family, and they spent at least two or three weeks in this neck of the woods, principally on the Cape and South Shore. Her mobility was challenged—or so we were led to believe—but once up the three steps into our house, she seemed unphased by her back troubles. We spent several hours catching up, learning about Our Massachusetts Ancestors (the title of the book she wrote as a result of the trip), and relaxing. What I don't recall is spending any time "getting to know each other," because both Hank and Derry so easily slipped into a kind of comfortable ease and openness that I've tried to emulate ever since. Although I'm apparently vying for title of Worst Communicator Ever, we kept in touch sporadically, and even as recently as late March, talking with Derry on the phone was a delight. That same sense of humor and curiosity I recall from many years ago underscored the entire conversation, even when discussing a topic I'd hesitated to mention because it was too "serious" or potentially "depressing." I knew this was likely to be my last talk with Derry, but when I hung up the phone, I realized that our chat had relieved me of the sadness and hesitance I'd noted as I punched in her phone number. I've never known anyone like Derry and doubt I ever will again.
Posted by SABRINA BAZZO on May 2, 2021
My mom had so many interests. She was an amazing artist for one, I have many of her paintings up around my home. She had a lifelong love of the fine arts and enjoyed regular visits to art galleries, symphony concerts and the opera. As a child, classical music could always be heard playing in our house. She was also an incredible cook and was always experimenting with a new recipe. She was a voracious reader too, as well as a lover of the outdoors. Growing up I have many happy memories of camping and hiking all over the U.S. My mom was also a social activist early on. She and my dad, also a public school teacher, taught me the importance of always treating everyone with respect, no matter who they were nor what their station in life was. And for that I am deeply grateful. My mom became a teacher in the 1960's when schools were just beginning to become desegregated. She chose to teach in inner city public schools which she said was challenging but also very rewarding. She loved her job and became more than just an instructor for her students, but also a mentor and counselor to many of the families in our community. I have always aspired to be more like her and am so fortunate to have had her in my life as not only my mother but a mentor too. I love you mom, you will always be my hero.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Barbara Rabiner on May 17, 2021
As a friend and neighbor at Pacific Regent, I always enjoyed my conversations with Derry. Most of all, I admired her " joie de vivre". She never let her wheelchair confine her. Derry was involved with many activities at Pacific Regent and we all appreciated her participation in these events.
She will be missed.
Posted by Lee Anna Obos on May 17, 2021
When I think of Derry Levy, the words that come to mind are intelligent, compassionate, and genuine. She could hold a conversation with anyone about any topic…and she always spoke from the heart. I remember Derry as being the most well-rounded person I ever met…and this was something I noticed about her even when I was a teenager.

I first met “Mrs. Levy”, as I called her back then, around 1971 when the Levy’s and my parents bought houses on the same cul-de-sac in Gurnee, Illinois. Almost immediately our families became close friends. Because both our family’s relatives were living on the east and west coasts; the Levys and the Soudiers started celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners together – a tradition that was to last for over 20 years – until Hank and Derry and my parents both moved to opposite coasts.

Those holiday traditions included Derry and my grandmother – both excellent cooks - doing the lion’s share of the cooking and Hank handled the carving. Through-out the delicious meal there was good conversation, classical music and laughter. After dinner on Thanksgiving, the entire group would take a walk around the neighborhood to make room for dessert.

And as the Levy/Soudier children grew and began bringing boyfriends or girlfriends and later fiancés and spouses to the annual holiday dinners, everyone was warmly welcomed at the table and embraced into the fold.

I read the remembrance Sabrina posted about her mother – “That she taught me the importance of always treating everyone with respect, no matter who they were nor what their station in life was”.

This is so true. One of the unique aspects about our parent’s friendship was, that although every adult was from a different religious background and my parents were conservative republicans while the Derry and Hank were liberal democrats, they discussed religion and politics frequently from different points of view and there were never raised voices or arguments. Everyone’s opinion was treated with respect.

Another thing I remember about Derry, was the genuine interest she had in people she met. As the oldest of the Levy/Soudier children, I was the official babysitter for several years. When the Levys would arrive home after a night out, Derry always took the time to visit with me and ask what was going on in my life. 

And once I was married and living on the east coast, and Derry had moved to the west coast, we still stayed in touch. We exchanged cards, letters, & phone calls. She and Hank visited us in NY twice. Derry and I spoke on the phone a several times a year. Our conversations included literature (we were both actively involved in book clubs), politics and our families. 

And in 2012, when my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Derry called monthly…to talk to my mother (who had moved in with us) and to talk to me. Derry was my rock during those difficult years offering support, suggestions and just listening. She was my friend, my mentor and my touchstone to happier times.

I miss Derry very much…I miss our conversations, letters and especially our friendship. When I remember Derry, I like to think of her with Hank once again, visiting with my Father at the dinner table.
Posted by Rosanne Mendicino on May 16, 2021
Remembering your mom from family events in Waukegan, Illinois to San Diego, California, she always had a warm smile for anyone who visited. She always made people feel at home & part of the family. So many great memories as well as pictures of her, surrounded by family & always with a smile on her face. Prayers and blessing thoughts to everyone in the Bazzo & Levy families.
Recent stories
Shared by Dard Hunter on May 14, 2021
I decided to quit college before completing my Freshman year.
Derry counseled me to not do it. She said that a college degree was a key that opened many doors that would not be open to you without a college degree. 
  • I didn't quit and completed my Freshman year. After then spending 3 years in the Army,  I went back to school and got a degree.