Those who have taken the time to read the home page of our website will know that our firm was founded by Louis H. Levine over 50 years ago with his son-in-law, Leonard S. Slavit. What may not be known to readers is that before founding the firm, Mr. Levine had a secretary named Alice. But all those who come in for a job interview know that because we make it a point of telling them about Alice since she worked at our office for an almost unheard of 60 years. She continued to work for the firm when I joined the firm in 1985, and even after Mr. Levine retired from active practice.
Alice was one-of-a-kind. She could type faster more accurately than anyone, but not on a computer keyboard for one simple reason – she refused to use a computer. As far as she was concerned, a typewriter and carbon paper was all she needed. To make sure that things were on the up-and-up, people who called the office had to answer a battery of questions from her before being allowed to speak with one of the attorneys. We called it the third degree. One of my friends described her as “foreboding”.
Yet Alice had a kindness that no one could miss. She made friends with all who came to or called the office, from clients to building workers to the mailmen. She made an indelible impression on all those who worked with her, who still ask about her while giving a smile that acknowledges their appreciation of how unique and special she was. Miss Kay, as Alice gave her name rather than continuously having to spell her real, long last name, was a fixture at Levine & Slavit.
Alice passed away earlier this month. The funeral service was attended by those closest to her, who all shared their stories about her. My father and I got to tell some stories too. It felt like the end of an era.