Gertrude Levitan dies in Raleigh, is buried in Atlanta
GERTRUDE KONIARSKI LEVITAN, a longtime resident of New Orleans, who left after Hurricane Katrina and the resultant flooding ravaged her hometown, died on July 27, 2020, in Raleigh, N.C. She was 90.
Levitan always had an overwhelming love of her native New Orleans, despite having lived in senior living facilities in Atlanta, Baltimore and Raleigh, N.C. for the past 15 years.
She grew up in the Jewish section along the Dryades Street corridor largely populaed by immigrants, where her parents had several retail establishments including the GK Dress Shop on Dryades Street, named with their daughter’s initials. She worked with her parents in the store for many years.
Following her marriage, she and her husband Sam created Baby Equipment Rental, a business that offered short-term rentals of baby furniture for visiting family during the 1950s.
In more recent years, Levitan, known as “Gert” to her friends, had turned to writing several pieces about her early years on Dryades Street and incorporated her parents and relatives into discourses about growing up in Jewish New Orleans.
Last year, a story about how her parents met, was published in the The Forward, the Yiddish newspaper that recently ceased print publication.
Levitan was fiercely proud of her Jewish heritage. Despite living in facilities lacking a feeling of a Jewish home, she advocated for Jewish holidays to be celebrated wherever she stayed. Because her husband had been a resident of the Jewish Children’s Home as a youth, they were very active supporters of Jewish Children’s Regional Service (JCRS) and were affiliated with and active with Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation while they lived in the area.
She was predeceased by her husband, Samuel T. Levitan, in 2018 and is survived by her sons Tom and Scott Levitan (Patrick Francisco) of Chapel Hill, N.C.; her former daughter-in-law, Jodi Fisher Levitan of Baltimore, and two grandchildren.
Memorial donations are suggested to JCRS or to Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation, 3737 We. Esplanade Avenue, Metairie, LA. 70002.
Arrangements and private services were held in Atlanta.