FREDERICKTOWN — L. Bruce Levering, 77, of Fredericktown died Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009, at Knox Community Hospital.
Bruce was born Jan. 13, 1932, on the family farm in Chester Township, Morrow County, to Enoch Perry Levering and Goldia Bruce (Taylor) Levering. He graduated from Chester-Franklin High School in 1950 where he developed his love for football and later attended Otterbein College in Westerville. During high school Bruce managed a milk route in the Chesterville area. He maintained the family dairy farm for many years while creating a career in the health care profession.
Bruce purchased the Hillcrest Nursing Home near Fredericktown on May 1, 1956, built Marion Manor Nursing Home in Marion in 1967 and Country Court Nursing Center in Mount Vernon in 1974. In 1978, he purchased Morrow Manor in Chesterville followed by Winchester Terrace Nursing Center in Mansfield in 1982 and built Delaware Court Health Care Center in Delaware in 1985. In 1984, Bruce purchased the former Martin Memorial Hospital in Mount Vernon and converted it to a senior assisted living center, which opened in 1986 as The Living Center. In 1974 he founded Levering Management Inc., which is the management and operating company for all of his health care facilities. On Nov. 26, 2006, the Ohio Senate recognized Bruce Levering and Levering Management for 50 years service. Because of his love for farming, Bruce was a partner in Foote Elevator in Fredericktown and in 1977 he became the sole owner and operator and changed the name to Leve Agri-man.
Bruce was a loyal member of the First Presbyterian Church in Fredericktown, where he served as a Session Elder and Sunday School Teacher. He served on and was past president of the Fredericktown School Board and helped build the high school building on Columbus Road in 1964 and was a leader and fundraiser for the athletic field house at Fredericktown. He was a 54-year member and past president of Chester Masonic Lodge in Chesterville and held their first open installation so wives could attend. Bruce was a 50-year member of Aladdin Temple Shrine in Columbus. He was also a member and past Worthy Patron of Evelyn Chapter 148, Order of Eastern Star, in Chesterville. He was a member and past president of the Fredericktown Lions Club and was a true believer in their motto, “It can be done in a small town.” He also received the Lions Club Melvin Jones award. He was a member of the Mount Vernon Rotary Club and received the Rotary “Paul Harris Fellow Award.” Bruce was past president of the Ohio Health Care Association. He was a Past President Scholarship Donor and was recognized as a Pioneer of the Profession Award winner by the Ohio Health Care Association. He was a member and past treasurer of the American Health Care Association where he received the Joe Warner Patient Advocacy Award. In 1971, when Ohio started licensing nursing home administrators, Bruce was in the first class to earn licensure by the Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators and the American College of Nursing Home Administrators.
Bruce also served on the board of The Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County, was a member and past board member of the Mount Vernon-Knox County Chamber of Commerce, where he served as a Red Coat Ambassador. Bruce received the Chamber’s “Heart Award” in 1993 for the redevelopment of the Martin Memorial Hospital into The Living Center, received their “Business of the Year” award in 1996 and was honored as the 2000 Paul Slaughter “Volunteer of the Year.” Levering Management was recognized by the Knox County Unit of the American Cancer Society as a Century Club Member. Bruce received a certificate of appreciation from the Ohio Superintendents Education Service Center Association. He served on the Business Advisory Council for both the Knox County Career Center and the Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
Bruce had a love for life, family and friends. He was an avid fan of sports and could often be found at his children or grandchildren’s sporting events. He attended Fredericktown football, girls and boy’s basketball, Ashland University football, Lancaster High School boy’s basketball and Heath High School girl’s basketball. Since 1975, Bruce had attended almost every Ohio State University football Bowl game that the Buckeyes played. He was an advocate for the education of children. Although Bruce could be seen most often in a suit and tie, he enjoyed the comfort of his farming clothes with a pouch of Union Workman in his back pocket.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Joan (Higgins) Levering; his children, Cynthia Ann Levering of Heath, William Bruce (Mary Jo) Levering of Fredericktown, T. Jeffrey (Teresa Ann) Levering of Fredericktown and Kenneth Perry (Suzanne) Levering of Powell; 11 grandchildren, Stephanie Nicole (Chad) Street, Steven Nicholas Berk, William Bruce (Shannon) Levering Jr., Joseph Daniel Levering, Amanda Kay Levering, Jeffrey Bruce Levering, Whitney Joanna Levering, Jordon Lee Levering, Karla Michelle Levering, Kristen Elizabeth Levering and Kelly Ann Levering; two sisters, Elizabeth May Troyer of Newark and Alice Katherine Levering of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and many nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents he was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Kathryn Ann Levering; and two brothers, Emerald Perry Levering and Charles Taylor Levering.
Friends may call on Saturday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Snyder Funeral Home in Fredericktown, where a Masonic service will follow at 8 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Fredericktown First Presbyterian Church, 17 S. Main St., Fredericktown, OH 43019. Pastor Michael W. Smith will be officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Cemetery in Fredericktown.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church in Fredericktown. This obituary and guest registry are online at www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.
The Snyder Funeral Home of Fredericktown is honored to serve the family of L. Bruce Levering.