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August 7, 2013

Michael David Levine

NORMAN — Michael David Levine, died early Sunday morning, Aug. 4, 2013. He was born to Jack Levine and Esther Zuitt Levine on July 13, 1945, in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Michael wasn’t born a Sooner, but he bled crimson and cream from the age of 9 when he began following Bud Wilkinson and the Sooner football team. He moved to Norman in 1965 to attend the University of Oklahoma. He received a BS in political science, an MA in history and special education teaching certificates.

While hitchhiking to lunch at the Boomerang on a very hot July day in 1971, he was picked up by his future wife, Janet Reams. They married on Dec. 18, 1971, in Norman.

Michael loved Norman and never wanted to live anywhere else. He enjoyed drinking iced tea at McDonald’s on 12th and Alameda. He and Janet were regular customers at Othello’s since 1975.

Michael began his teaching career in McAlester in 1971. He later taught in Gene Autry, Cushing and Putnam City until 1997. He then substituted in Norman Public Schools until 2010.

From 1965 on, Michael ran daily, completing 33 marathons including Boston and New York City. He won the Artesia, N.M., marathon in 1971.

He was named Cerebral Palsy Personality of the Year in 1971. In 1972, he was an Oklahoma Headliner. In 1996, Michael was a torch bearer when the Olympic Torch came through Norman.

In spite of being born with Cerebral Palsy, he lived a normal life. He was intense and determined.

Jewish at birth, he became Catholic in 1997, at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Survivors include his wife, Janet of the home; daughter, Rebekah Shackney and husband David of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.; son, Toyin Amin-Levine and wife Sheri of Norman; son, J.J. Levine and wife Andrea of Austin, Texas; sister, Carol Roye and husband David of Pleasantville, N.Y.; sister, Susan Netburn and husband Malcolm of Pleasantville, N.Y.; and brother, Jed Levine and partner Jerold Fisher of New York City. Michael had eight grandchildren, Brandon Amin-Levine, Sandra Alabi, Dami Alabi and Aminat Amin-Levine, all of Norman; Braxton Burton-Davis of Decatur, Ala.; Orry and Harry Shackney of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.; and Quinn Levine of Austin, Texas. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Irene Crawford of Cushing; cousin, Elsie Stein of Littleton, Colo.; and godmother, Maxine Stancampiano of Oklahoma City. Michael also has his many, many nieces and nephews.

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