Former Breck resident dies rafting |

Former Breck resident dies rafting

Daily News staff report
Special to the DailyJay Levins (right) and his son, Brett, celebrate a successful skydiving adventure six years ago when Brett turned 18.

NORTHPORT, N.Y. – Jay Levins was a physically active man who liked bicycling, windsurfing and kayaking, among other sports.His love of skiing even led the Long Island native to move to Breckenridge for a few years, where he owned and operated Rocky Mountain Sports before moving back to Northport. Family and friends were stunned when Levins, 51, died in a whitewater rafting accident on Sunday during a visit with his son in Colorado.

Levins is survived by his wife of 25 years, Linda, and his children Brett, 24, and Rachel, 22. Brett, a Breckenridge resident, was in a kayak following behind the raft his father was riding in when Levins fell out of the raft into the Arkansas River. Though he was pulled out of the water immediately, medical experts on the raft were unable to revive him. Born May 1, 1954, Levins had recently celebrated his birthday with family members.

As the managing director of commercial real estate for Anastasio Associates in Huntington, N.Y., where he worked for the past three years, Levins was described by the company’s owner as a man with a zest for life.”He was a ball of fire,” said Katy Anastasio, principal of Anastasio Associates real estate brokers. “He would walk into the office and light up everyone. I feel like I’ve lost a brother.” According to Paul Langer, a family friend from Northport, Levins always seemed cheerful. “I always picture Jay with a smiling face. He was energetic and upbeat and loved sports, especially with his son, Brett.”

Levins, who grew up in Massapequa, N.Y., graduated high school in 1972 from Loomis Academy in Windsor, Ct., (now Loomis Chafee School). In 1976, he earned his bachelor’s in history from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa.In addition to his wife, Linda, and children, Brett and Rachel, Levins is survived by his father, Harvey Levins, and his mother Betty, both of Boca Raton, Fla. He is also survived by his sisters: Linda Kuchmeister of Long Beach, NY; Amy Bloom of Davie, Fla.; and Lisa Gnann of Boca Raton, Fla. He was the uncle to four nieces and four nephews.Funeral arrangements are pending at I.J. Morris Funeral Home, 21 East Deer Park Road, Dix Hills, N.Y., (631) 499-6060. Memorial donations may be made to the Suffolk YJCC, 74 Hauppauge Road, Commack, NY 11725.

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