We honor the memory of Robert (Bob) A. Levin, the man who made Walking Stick possible, to begin with. He will be fondly remembered by each and every retreat participant who ever walked the scenic land near Cuba, New Mexico which Bob gifted to us in 1997. And although we have since relocated to Southern California, his presence moves with us, weaving through our continued programming, the genesis of which he made possible.
Bob was the most active and ardent supporter of our work in its fledgling phases and for subsequent years, giving generously of his hard-earned resources until we were up and running -- not only funding us but also providing us with wise and practical counsel. We miss him deeply, as do countless other individuals and institutions that he had helped both philanthropically and pragmatically. A selfless man, Bob possessed a tremendous sense of self and in his mid-eighties exhibited the power of presence and wisdom expected of a true elder. He died peacefully in his sleep the night between Monday July 18 and Tuesday July 19, 2005, the twelfth day of the Hebrew Moon of Tammuz in the lunar reckoning of the Hebraic year 5765 -- five days before his 86th birthday. In accordance with his last wish, the dust of his body was cast to the four winds from the rocky cliffs of the then Walking Stick Retreat Center in Sandoval County, New Mexico.
Bob was indeed a wise elder to many, not only Jewish people. He was honored by people representing all walks, including Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and Native Americans, as he touched the lives of a wide variety of peoples and was in turn touched himself by all cultures. He prepared himself to die for well over a year, and passed on with a gracefulness to be envied, and certainly to be honored. We will always think of him, always remain grateful to him, always cherish our warm, sweet memories of his wisdom, his wit, his friendship, and his love.