In a grave message posted on Facebook by the GIjOE Collector’s Club, it was revealed today that the “Father of GIjOE,” Don Levine, has passed away. Here is the club’s message in its entirety:
“It is with great sadness that we pass along news that one of the original creators of 12” G.I. Joe, Don Levine, has passed away. Services will be held at Sunday in Providence, RI at Temple Bethel. We send our condolences to his family on behalf of the Club membership and G.I. Joe fans the world over.
Thank you, sir, for making growing up a little bit better. (We are double checking this to confirm.)”
In a follow-up article released by the Associated Press, we learn the following additional intel:
“According to his wife, Nan, Levine died of cancer early Thursday at the Home & Hospice Care facility of Rhode Island. They were just about to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Levine’s funeral will be held Sunday morning at Temple Beth-El in Providence. He is survived by his wife, three children and four grandchildren.”
Bottom Line: Our sincerest and most heartfelt condolences to Don’s family. Words cannot describe the depth of our gratitude or the sincerity of our feelings for the life of this wonderful man and his multitude of marvelous accomplishments. This is an incredibly sad day for all GIjOE fans and collectors. God Speed, Mr. Levine.