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June 07, 2020
WILKES-BARRE – Iris Levy's son Jon said all the right things about his late mother.
Iris Bebe Soble Levy, 92, from Rockaway, New Jersey, ex Dallas and Kingston, died on Tuesday evening, May 26th, with her family by her side. Iris and her late husband, Richard, owned the Percy Brown restaurant from 1964 until it closed in 1981.
"My mom had a very elegant outlook on life and high standards for herself and her family," said Jon. “He felt he had high standards for being up to par. He believed in the importance of cultural expression and honor. He instilled it in all of us and in the children of the older family.
"She believed in hard work and finding socially adaptable and community-oriented meaning for her work. And she was a very creative person."
Jon said his mother was a very artistic and creative person and a very public person.
"He loved interacting with people and could easily relate to most people," said Jon. "She was brave, engaging and brought a lot of energy and intelligence into her life and those around her."
Jon also wrote a note to his mother after his death.
"At sunrise, one day in July many years ago,
You came to me like the sun itself,
In the air, in your arms, at home.
And your sunbeam has passed through
Everything and everyone and every moment since then.
Your song has become my song, your dance, my rhythm,
and your creativity, your food and your words, incredible.
Along the way, you had your compass, your direction,
Moving forward through the seasons
With a determined confidence,
Bourne of family, given as love and made stronger
For courage, character and principle, and I quote "It is not easy".
You were our guide, our teacher,
our path to good living as individuals, as a family, as a community.
And as you return to our Creator, know that we are sending messages and prayers,
to God, to welcome you to a place of eternity. Please send our love to dad.
Every time, when I hear you sing, I will say:
Thanks, for the happiness in our home, that happy home in your heart, mom, and so, in my heart … .. in our hearts ……. Always
Love, Jon … Love, all of us, your children
Grandson remembers his aunt
Larry Rosensweig, Iris Levy's grandson, grew up in Kingston and now lives in Florida. He said his aunt Iris was part of his life since he can remember. "
To be honest, I was very much into adulthood before coming to appreciate my aunt, "said Rosensweig." He wore his emotions on the sleeve, almost to the point of embarrassment. My immediate family was much more reserved. Aunt Iris was all # 39; anything but reserved. She sang. She wrote poetry. She talked about family. She expressed her love verbally and with hugs and kisses. Over time, I realized that all these expressions were honest and consistent. "
After Rosensweig's grandfather, Reuben H. Levy, had a debilitating stroke, he said that it was his aunt Iris, his daughter-in-law, who faithfully went with him every day.
Rosensweig said that Iris and her husband, Richard "Dick" Levy, were a loving couple, who always exchanged lovely looks that continued for 70 years of marriage.
"My uncle has always called his" girlfriend "Iris, said Rosensweig.
Many people knew about Iris from her TV show "Cooking Good with Iris" and her gourmet cookery shop "Cookery and Things" at Percy Brown. Others knew her from shows with Little Theater, active roles in community organizations and Temple Israel.
Rosensweig said that Iris was recognized as Richard Levy's wife; Reuben and Leah Levy's daughter-in-law; Fred's mother, Jon, David and Alison, among his many identities in Wyoming Valley where he lived for 70 years.
He played tennis and bridge pretty well and had many friends, Rosensweig said.
"At her death at the age of 92, some of my old friends noticed that they also called her" Aunt Iris "because she and their mothers were so close friends," said Rosensweig. “For me, Aunt Iris was a second mother, both in childhood and for the 37 years after my mother's death. He exuded heat, cooked fantastic meals, welcomed my wife and two children with open arms. He couldn't have been happier a few months ago when he met my first nephew, Wyatt, giving him to a patented, radiant love of Aunt Iris. "
Percy Brown
Larry Newman, executive director of the partnership with Diamond City, offered some historical information about Percy Brown and the ownership of the Levys-owned restaurant / grocery store.
According to Newman:
Percy Brown opened its market in 1905 and moved it to East Northampton Street in 1909.
• He originally opened the cafeteria in 1920.
The "Percy Brown" buildings that most people currently remember date back to 1957.
• Percy Brown died in 1962 and the business was sold to Richard and Iris Levy in 1964. The Levy family ran the business until 1981, when it was closed.
• After two decades of vacancies, Percy Brown's buildings were finally demolished in 1993. The company's site is now home to Movies 14.
Born in Philadelphia, Iris Levy was the daughter of the late Samuel and Naomi Bohrer Soble. Iris was an active member of the Temple Israel Synagogue, Wilkes-Barre and its Sisterhood.
She was a passionate and dedicated volunteer for many causes in Wyoming Valley. He served as president of the women's division of the Jewish Federation's annual campaign. She was a "Pink Lady" at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital and presided over her Starlight Ball. Iris was a member of Hadassah's life.
Iris liked to run her shop, "Kitchen and Things" in the back of Percy Brown's grocery store. She was a renowned cook and gastronomic journalist, spending 11 years hosting the local TV segment, "Cooking Good with Iris" on WDAU-TV, later WYOU.
She is the author of Iris Petals, a book of poems that she wrote to celebrate her family, her successes and her struggles, from childhood to maturity. She was awarded the Back Mountain poet award from the Back Mountain Library.
A passionate tennis player, Iris was a member of the Valley Tennis and Swim Club since its inception. He was a member of the American Contract Bridge League, of which he was a Life Master. Famous for his musical talents, he has starred in several local theater productions, including his favorite, Pajama Game.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her loving husband, Richard Joel Levy and sisters, Vivian Soble Hoffman and Sondra Soble Ginsberg.
Iris was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She survived her four children, Frederick (Barbara Ball) Levy, Kingston; Jonathan (Viviane) Levy, Ramstein, Germany; Dr. David (Dr. Janis Wiener) Levy, Oak Park, Illinois; Alison (Rabbi Charles) Popky, Rockaway, New Jersey; grandchildren, Rachel (Michael) Wexler, Reuben (Dr. Yulya Truskinovsky), Joshua, Julia, Samantha, Noa, Aliza; great-grandchildren, Gabriele, Sonia and Eli; nephews. It has been loved and admired by many.
A funeral, which was attended by over 100 family and friends via video link, was held on Wednesday 27 May at the Temple Israel Cemetery in Swoyersville.