Woody Levitan, 77, a former resident of Middletown, NY, and current resident of Warwick, NY, passed away on Friday, August 13, 2021, at home. Woody was the loving husband of Carol O’Malley-Levitan, the beloved father of Stacey Blustein and Lauren Bender, father-in-law to Michael Blustein and Steve Bender. Woody was also the loving and very proud grandfather of Hannah and Rachel Blustein and Daniel and Vivian Bender. He was a 1961 graduate of DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Baruch School of the City College of New York in 1965. After spending some time in the business world, Woody earned his CPA certificate from New York State in 1972. Professionally, Woody served countless clients as an accountant and valued business advisor for over 40 years.
Woody was, as noted, a CPA and was also awarded other professional designations such as a Certification in Strategic Performance Management in 2004. He served as a member of statewide committees of the NYSSCPAs and in 1983 as President of its Mid-Hudson Chapter. He also actively served on many of the Chapter’s committees. He wrote and edited many articles for professional and other publications and was a sought after speaker on business and professional subjects. For a number of years, he served as an instructor for the NYSSCPAs Foundation for Accounting Education.
Woody was dedicated to his community. He began his community service career in 1969 when he became a member of the Mountaindale Fire Company No. 1. He later served a number of years on Mountaindale’s Volunteer First Aid Squad and as Assistant Chief and as Chief of the Fire Company from 1975 to 1978.
After moving with his family to Middletown in 1987, Woody joined the Orange County Chamber of Commerce and went on to serve as its Chairman in 1990. Woody was an active member of the team that negotiated the merger between the then Orange County Chamber of Commerce and the Eastern Orange County Chamber of Commerce. He continued to serve for years as a member of the Board of the merged Chamber. He also chaired its Government Relations Committee and represented the Chamber in Albany on the NYS Small Business Council. While serving on the Board of the Chamber, he represented the Chamber as a Board member of the Orange County Partnership. At the end of his Chamber term, he was elected to an independent seat on the Partnership Board. In 1998, Woody was elected Chair of the Orange County Partnership Board. He was a member of Middletown Rotary for fifteen years and served on that Rotary Club’s Board and served on the Board of Mid-Hudson Pattern for Progress.
In 1989, Woody joined the Board of Horton Memorial Hospital. In 1993, he was elected Chair of the Board and served in that position until 1995. In 2000, Woody participated on the Horton Committee that negotiated the merger of Horton Memorial Hospital and Arden Hill Hospital. The Board of the merged entity, Orange Regional Medical Center (ORMC), honored Woody by electing him to serve as the first Chair of the ORMC Board. He served in that capacity from 2000 until 2003. While a member of the Horton and ORMC Boards, Woody served many years as Chair of their Finance Committees and as Treasurer of ORMC. He was also actively and directly involved in securing financing for the construction of ORMC’s new hospital and went on to serve on the Single Site/New Hospital Committee which oversaw the construction of what became the first new community hospital built in New York State in well over 20 years. Being Chair of the Board that conceived the new hospital project and being an active part of the team that saw it to completion was Woody’s proudest community achievement. The new hospital opened its doors in the Town of Wallkill to serve patients in the entire Hudson Valley in August 2011, and Woody retired from the ORMC board a few months later.
During his years of civic service, Woody was recognized often. He received the Amy Bull Crist Community Builders Award from the Orange County Chamber of Commerce in 1996. In 2003, Woody was included in the Times Herald Record’s list of the 36 Most Powerful People in the Region, and in 2004 he was honored as the first recipient of the joint New York State Society of CPAs and New York Council of Nonprofits Annual Community Builders Award. This award recognized Woody’s leadership in numerous civic and professional organizations. He also received many other certificates of recognition from various government and volunteer organizations.
A family statement reads, "We are humbled by the outpouring of respect and support that we have received during this difficult time. We feel so strongly that our beloved husband, father and grandfather had such a profound impact on so many people and causes. He was a family man who loved his wife, children and grandchildren above all, a committed community servant who gave without seeking acknowledgement. He had an open heart and mind. He was steady, constant, reliable and unselfish. We are grateful to have had him in our lives."
A memorial service will be private at the convenience of the family.
The family requests memorial donations be made to the Garnet Medical Center Foundation, 707 East Main Street, Middletown, NY 10940, 845-333-1000.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Cornelius, Dodd & Connell Funeral Home, Middletown, NY.
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