Note: Sam Levitz (Abraham Samuel Levitz), founder and owner of Sam Levitz Furniture in Tucson, Arizona died Saturday, December 17, 2005, at his home in Tucson of natural causes. Mr. Levitz was 91 years old. In addition to founding Sam Levitz Furniture, Tucson's oldest and largest furniture company, Mr. Levitz was an avid private pilot and flew for the Pima County Sheriff's Aero Squadron. He enjoyed fly-fishing and hunting all over the world. Mr. Levitz also played flamenco guitar with the world famous Carlos Montoya as his teacher. Mr. Levitz was the originator of the "Direct-To-You Warehouse" concept which he developed in Tucson in the 1950's. Many large retail chains have since copied the "warehouse-to-you" idea. Born February 17, 1914, over the family's general store in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, he was raised in the retail business. For health reasons and needing a warmer climate, he moved to Tucson in 1941. Before opening Tucson's first television store in 1953 in downtown Tucson, he was the chief photographer for the Arizona Daily Star, winning national awards as a photo journalist. His most notable photos appeared on covers of "Life" & "Look" magazines. In 1955, with his brothers as investors, Mr. Levitz began selling furniture, televisions and appliances direct from the warehouse at 815 E. 18th Street in Tucson. It was an immediate success which led to him helping his brothers develop a similar operation in Phoenix. His brothers went on to develop the nationwide, publicly held Levitz Furniture chain, while Sam Levitz Furniture remained a privately held Tucson company. The company continues to be owned by the family with his son, Sam R., as president for the last 15 years. Other family members continue to help manage the company as well. The family will have a private service and burial. Mr. Levitz was active on the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson (Sam Levitz Memorial Fund). Sam Levitz was preceded in death by his son, Saylor Levitz, three sisters and two brothers. He is survived by the Love of his Life, his wife, Lee Levitz, his children, Kandie Levitz (Drew) Vactor, Suzanne Levitz (Ron) Payton, Sam R. (Valerie) Levitz, Andy Levitz, Kathi Levitz (Chuck) Peters; fourteen Grandchildren and nine Great-Grandchildren, and his brother, Leon Levitz. --- Tucson Daily Citizen, Dec. 20, 2005
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