Frances Joan Artley Levine, 1927-2022
Frances Levine, wife of the late poet Philip Levine, passed away peacefully in her sleep, on June 13, 2022, after a brief illness.
Frances was an extraordinarily talented artist, loving mother, and generous friend. Throughout her life, she worked as an actress, costume artist, and set designer. She was an outspoken activist for women’s rights, the anti-war movement, Native American rights, and animal rights.
Born in Hampton, Iowa, she attended the University of Iowa where she received an MFA in Costuming where she met her husband, Philip. After numerous costuming jobs throughout the country to support her family, she and Phil settled in Fresno, where they raised their three boys.
The family traveled a great deal while Phil took on teaching assignments at various universities. On two occasions they lived in Spain. They also spent over three decades splitting their time between New York City and Fresno.
Outside of her family and friends, her greatest passions were gardening, reading, and cooking, and she authored or contributed to multiple cookbooks. With a deeply embedded creative streak, she made beautiful drawings and paintings and sewed over one hundred quilts for friends and family around the world.
Most of all, Franny was joyful and generous. She touched the lives of everyone who met her and always made them feel like they were the most important person in the room.
She is survived by her sons and their families: Mark (and Katie), John, Ted (and Jo), and five grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Her extensive friends and family treasured the time they had with her and feel her loss deeply.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial tributes be made to the Fresno State English Department in honor of Frances Levine.
Checks can be made to the Fresno State Foundation, with “Philip Levine Scholarship” in the memo, and mailed to 5245 N. Backer Ave., PB98, Fresno, CA 93740.
For questions about donations, call 559.278.1569. Letters can be sent to Mark Levine, PO Box 1586, Coupeville, WA 98239. A memorial is being planned for November 2022.
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Published by Legacy on Jun. 21, 2022.
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