|Death: ||Dec. 12, 2007|
"Jack Levar, a gregarious ad man with a passion for golf, flying and life, died Wednesday at a Santa Rosa hospital of complications from hip surgery. He was 65.
"It was such a sudden passing, we are all in a state of deep shock," said Tom Nelson, who has shared an office at Levar's JBL Advertising in Santa Rosa for 18 years. "He had such a passionate exuberance for life. He has touched literally thousands and thousand and thousands of lives."
Roger Olson of Windsor, a friend for almost 40 years, had lunch with Levar last Wednesday, the day before Levar went in for hip surgery.
"If you didn't have fun when you were around Jack, it was your own fault," Olson said. "He was very outgoing. At a party he was the center of attention with eight or 10 people around. He would always have a story to tell. I will miss him very much."
Levar was born and raised in Santa Rosa, attending Santa Rosa Junior College and San Francisco State.
He was in the Air Force from 1965-69, serving with Armed Forces Radio in Korea.
He returned to Santa Rosa in 1969, working at KSRO radio as an advertising salesman and manager for 25 years before opening his own agency and serving North Coast auto agencies, markets and retailers.
He also was the manager and assistant for Guy Fieri, the Sonoma County restaurateur and TV chef, and accompanied Fieri last month on a trip to the Persian Gulf, where they visited service personnel on the USS Enterprise, USS Wasp and USS Gettysburg.
"The best trip of his life was going to Bahrain in November to celebrate the troops with Guy Fieri and celebrating the anniversary of the USS Enterprise," said his daughter, Carrie Bouknight of Roseville. "That is all he talked about since he got home. In a heart beat he would have gone again."
Fieri credits Levar with much of the success of his restaurants and TV career.
"Jack was a great leader and mentor and business adviser. He was always my coach . . . the principles and things he gave me about interacting with people in this industry, the pitfalls, sticking to your word, all this stuff," Fieri said.
Levar had hip surgery last Thursday and died Wednesday morning from complications, with his family around him, his daughter said.
Levar was a long-time member of the Santa Rosa Rotary Club, the Pacific Coast Air Museum and the Oakmont Men's Club, was involved with the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Santa Rosa program and was formerly president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Santa Rosa.
He had a passion for flying and had a pilot's license and an instructor's certificate. He was also an avid golfer.
He was married to his wife, Linda Levar, for 37 years.
Besides his wife and daughter, he is survived by his mother, Kathleen Kinney of Oakmont; son Jay Levar of Windsor; two grandchildren; and a sister, Sandi Haggard of Elgin, Ill.
Services will be private. A memorial celebrating his life is pending.
A scholarship fund in his name is being set up through the Santa Rosa Rotary, PO Box 505, Santa Rosa 95402.
-- Bob Norberg
Published in the Press Democrat 12/13/2007
LEVAR, John (Jack) - Surrounded by his entire family, Jack passed away December 12, 2007 at the vibrant age of 65. Survived by his devoted wife of 37 years, Linda, his son Jay Levar (Carie) of Windsor, daughter Carrie Bouknight (Brian) of Roseville, sister Sandy Haggard of Chicago, grandson Colton Levar and granddaughter Jaycie Levar, his mother Kathleen Kinney, and numerous nieces and nephews. Also surviving him is his brother-in-law and best golf buddy, Dennis Milbrath (Rosemary). Jack's love for family, friends, work and life is an inspiration to all who knew him. A celebration of Jack's life will be held on Sunday, December 23rd at 1:30 pm at the Friedman Center, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor can be made to the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa, Jack Levar Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 505, Santa Rosa, CA 95402. Arrangements under the direction of SANTA ROSA MORTUARY EGGEN & LANCE CHAPEL, Santa Rosa, 707-545-3747.
Published in the Press Democrat on 12/16/2007.
Created by: Geraldine "Gerry" Hume...
Record added: Dec 13, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 23394480