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Julie Levinson (FACEBOOK PHOTO)

Julie Levinson, longtime Democratic leader, dies

Teaneck activist worked for two legislators

By David Wildstein, October 09 2018 10:18 am

Julie Levinson, a former aide to State Senators Raymond Garramone and Loretta Weinberg, passed away on October 7 of congestive heart failure.

After a short career working for ABC-TV in New York, Levinson became active in Bergen County Democratic politics.  She worked as a legislative aide to Raymond Garramone, a Haworth Democrat who had captured the 39th district State Senate seat in the Watergate Democratic landslide of 1973.

Levinson was a Democratic County Committeewoman in Teaneck.

She served on the steering committee for the Bergen County Democratic Club and ran the North Jersey campaign for the Committee to Rebuild Atlantic City.

In 1980, she was elected delegate to the 1980 Democratic National Convention on a slate pledged to Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy.  She served on the Bergen County steering committee for Jim Florio’s 1981 campaign for Governor of New Jersey.

Levinson later served on the staff of State Sen. Loretta Weinberg.  The two Democrats were longtime friends and worked together on numerous political campaigns, beginning in the 1960’s.

“Julie and I were friends for almost 60 years. She loved her family, the ballet, the Yankees, and was a great Democratic activist. We endearingly called each other by the initials ‘OLF’ – for ‘oldest living friend,” Weinberg said.

Levinson and Weinberg shared season tickets to the Giants at the old Meadowlands stadium.

“When the weather grew too cold, Lenny and Irwin would choose to stay home and watch the game on TV. But Julie and I would put on our battery-operated socks and would trudge on as the diehard Giant fans we were,” said Weinberg.  “We lamented the losing seasons but shared in a few Super Bowl wins too. She always had a disparaging name or two for the quarterback during those losing games.”

Weinberg said that her life was intertwined with Levinson.

“We lost our loving husbands just four months apart. We shared the joys of watching our children get married.  We welcomed our first granddaughters within weeks of each other.  So, we were joined by shared moments of sadness and of great happiness,” said Weinberg.

The Senate Majority Leader shared her final comments to her friend.

“And so Julie – I will cheer the Yankees and the Giants for you, I will work to elect Democrats – especially this year,” Weinberg said.  “You will be by my side dear Julie until the day we are again joined. I will miss you my dear OLF.”

A third member of the Levinson/Weinberg group was Lois Redisch, a veteran of many Bergen County Democratic campaigns and a columnist for PoliticsNJ.com.  Redisch passed away in 2005.

“Once Julie settles in, Lois will be to greet her,” her daughter, Liza Redisch Gamal, wrote on Facebook.  “Who knows what trouble those two may get into in that great beyond.”

Levinson is survived by her son and daughter, three granddaughters, and many friends.

A graveside funeral will be held at 2:30 this afternoon at Cedar Park & Beth El Cemetery in Paramus.

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