Arnold Levine was surrounded by family when he passed away on April 16 of natural causes at the age of 91. Born to Rose and Charles Levine in Brooklyn, New York he was the eldest of three sons. As a young man he worked in his parents dress shop while attending Brooklyn College.
Arnie moved to Santa Cruz in 1947 when his father came out west and purchased a beach side motel — Arnolds Surf Court. Shortly after arriving in California, Arnie completed his Master’s Degree at San Jose State University and began teaching at Branciforte Elementary School. In October 1956 he went back to New York for a conference and had a blind date with Estelle Schoenfeld – 4 months later they married and Estelle joined him in Santa Cruz.
Arnie’s career spanned 63 years throughout which he touched thousands of lives. In the Santa Cruz City Schools he taught every grade K-8 at Branciforte Elementary and Junior High Schools. He went on to Harbor High School as the Assistant Principal. He retired from Santa Cruz City Schools in 1981 and went on to serve two terms on the Santa Cruz City Council. He managed the “Newspapers In Education” program with the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Still striving to serve his community, he managed the Santa Cruz County Spelling Bee for more than a decade. He completed his career by serving on the Santa Cruz County Board of Education, where he served as Trustee for 28 years, and formally retired as President of the Board in 2013.
In the 68 years that Arnie lived in Santa Cruz, he was driven to serve his community. He served on the Santa Cruz County Redevelopment Agency working hard to restore the downtown area after the flood of 1955. He was a member of numerous service organization including the JayCees, B.P.O.E. Elks, Lions Club, Mended Hearts. In each of these organizations he held leadership roles including running the Miss California Pageant for the JayCees in the 1950’s and serving as Exalted Ruler of the Elks.
Arnie served the Jewish Community tirelessly throughout the decades. Not only did he hold leadership positions with Temple Beth El, during a 10 year period in the 1970’s he also served as the lay Rabbi performing weekly worship services, bar mitzvahs and funerals.
Arnie is preceded in death by his parents, Rose and Charles Levine, his brother, Harvey Levine and his son, Mark Levine. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Estelle, his son Mitchell (Kristen) and his daughter Joy (David), his daughter-in-law Deborah, his brother Saul Levine (Joyce), 7 grandchildren Kevin, Daniel, Rebecca, Hannah, Sydney, Lindsay, and Chloe and many nieces and nephews.
Donations may be made to Temple Beth El to the Rose Levine Memorial Campership Fund.