Marvin B. Levitties, 96, a clothing executive and active supporter of Einstein Healthcare, Harcum College, and many other institutions, died Monday, May 17, of cancer at the Hill at Whitemarsh, a continuing care facility in Lafayette Hill.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Mr. Levitties was the only child of Samuel and Rose Levitties. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, then went to work at and later ran the Adella Dress Company, his family’s Philadelphia-based women’s clothing manufacturing business.
He retired in 1971 at 47 and began a new career in academia, teaching retailing and the history of fashion at Harcum College and launching the school’s Retail Merchandising and Fashion Department. He created other new programs and eventually served as chairman of the school’s board of trustees.
In 2011, Mr. Levitties received the college’s Alumni Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Academia gave Mr. Levitties, a longtime resident of Merion and later Bala Cynwyd, the opportunity to devote more time to his greatest priority — his wife Jean Blumenfeld Levitties and their sons — and to several community institutions.
“He loved the family,” his son Matthew Levitties said. “He loved the extended family. There was nothing he liked more than coming to my house or to my brother’s house for dinner and family gatherings.”
“He was committed to giving back to the community,” he added, “and his way of doing that was to use the skills he developed over a lifetime in business and academia.”
One of Mr. Levitties’ strongest and most enduring relationships was with the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, where he served on numerous committees and supported the expansion of mental health services and psychiatric care, a cause embraced by his parents and inspired by his wife, a clinical social worker.
“Marvin B. Levitties was one of Einstein’s greatest champions,” said Lawrence S. Reichlin, chairman of Einstein’s Board of Trustees, noting his far-reaching service to the network, especially in mental health.
“Einstein is eternally grateful for his visionary approach to what health care in the communities we serve can and should be,” Reichlin said. “His legacy is large, and we mourn his loss.”
A lover of the arts, Mr. Levitties was also an honorary member of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees, a longtime member of the American Art and Costume and Textiles Committees, and a former chairman of the Friends Committee.
In addition, he was active with Central Behavioral Health, a nonprofit community mental health agency in Montgomery County, as well as Jewish community organizations and other health and educational institutions.
“He kept going until the very end,” his son said.
In addition to his son, Mr. Levitties is survived by another son John, four grandchildren, and other relatives. His wife died before him.
A private burial was held Tuesday, May 18.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Einstein Healthcare Network, Office of Development, Braemer Education Building, 5501 Old York Rd., Philadelphia, Pa. 19141; online at: https://advance.einstein.edu/giving/tribute-gifts/; or to Harcum College, 750 Montgomery Ave., Bryn Mawr, Pa., 19010.