Mother Yvonne Elizabeth Levine transitioned from this life on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, at Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit, MI.
Lovingly known to many as Von, she was born to Ardella Smith-Mobley and Arthur Nathan Thompson on August 14, 1950. Von was the oldest of four children. As a child, she was always bossy and seemed to be a born leader. Always ready and willing to teach her siblings, whether it was spelling, reading, or writing; she always pretended she was the teacher. Von accepted Christ at the early age of 15. On April 11, 1965, she was baptized by the late Rev. Charles Britt at the Greater Zion Baptist Church of Bronx, NY. She loved to sing. She sang when she walked, when she talked, she sang all the time. She turned every regular conversation into a song. In 1969, she relocated to South Bend, IN, where she attended and graduated from Washington High School.
Upon graduation, Von was employed by Bell South Telephone Company. She continued to work for them until August of 1976 when she joined the United States Air Force. During her time in the Air Force, she traveled to many different places including Africa, Germany, and Korea. She was also stationed stateside in San Antonio, TX and Albuquerque, NM. Honorably discharged in 1981, she decided to leave the military and marry the love of her life, Rev. Lawrence Levine Sr. They started their new life in Abbeville, LA where they attended Mt. Triumph Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. Henry L. Maze. During this time, she attended and graduated from nursing school to become an L.P.N. (Licensed Practical Nurse). Later, they relocated back to South Bend, IN where she began working at Memorial Staffing and attended Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. John Willis. This is when Bethlehem was known as the “little white church in the country.” During Mother Levine’s time at Bethlehem, she took her role to heart. She had a passion for working with young women and children, which led her to initiate the Young Matrons of Bethlehem. This passion also led her to spearhead several other organizations including the youth ministry, vacation bible school, and bible class. She had a special gift for organizing. Each year, she used these talents to bring the women of Bethlehem together for the Annual Women’s Day Program and Conference. Although Mother Levine enjoyed her work with these ministries, she never forgot her love of singing and gained so much joy in being part of the Bethlehem Mass Choir. Outside of her love for God and church she enjoyed learning, educating, and continually growing. At the age of 63 she received her Bachelor of Education from Bethel College. You would often find her home filled with children who can share stories of being tutored and inspired by her. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends as well as spending time with her sisters during their monthly Sister’s Day. But, anyone who truly knew her knew not to disturb her when her teams were playing. She was an avid lover of sports and had more sports knowledge than most. If Notre Dame, the Texans, or the Lakers (honestly it was more about Lebron) were playing, she could be found sitting in her favorite chair cheering, screaming, and rooting for her favorite team as if she was right there in the stadium. With her adventurous spirit, in 2013 Mother Levine decided to move with her husband to San Marcos, TX trusting in the Lord. Without knowing anyone or ever having seen the city they knew that their steps were ordered. There they would serve under the leadership of Pastor Derrick Benn of the Greater Bethel Baptist Church. Over the course of the past eight years Mother Levine, lovingly nicknamed “The General,” used her God-given talents to promote an atmosphere of love. Everywhere she went she gained children, grandchildren, and godchildren. There was never a time where she did not greet you with a warm smile, a hug, encouraging words or a plate of delicious food.
Mother Levine leaves to cherish her memory; her loving husband Rev. Lawrence Levine Sr., daughters, Antoinette Marie Booker of Detroit, MI and Theresa Lynette Johnson of South Bend, IN; a son Apollo (Jerry) Levine of Harlem, NY; ten grandchildren Lakita (Richard) Thomas, Stacey Kirkendoll Jr., Randy McCaster, Alonte Weaver, Joshua Hart, Alexandra Thompson, Arthur Booker III, Amara Booker, Aaniyah Booker, and Karsyn Feemster. One great-grandchild Alexandra McCaster. Three godchildren Crystal (Adam) Henson of Martinsville, IN, Keia Spears-Marshall and Kashawna (Luis) Marshall-Jimenez of South Bend, IN. Three brothers, Daryl Thompson of Rahma, NM, Joe Mobley Jr. of South Bend, IN and Roland Lowe of Montezuma, GA. Two sisters, Yvette (Jim) Johnson of South Bend, IN and Letitia (Randal) Hayes of Mt. Vernon, NY. A special parent Hazel Thompson also of Montezuma, GA, a great-aunt Mary Smith of New Rochelle, NY and a special adopted sister Eileen Collins of South Bend, IN. Mother Levine was also preceded in death by her biological parents, stepfather Joe Mobley, youngest brother Donald Thompson, and daughter Francis Jean Levine. She is loved and remembered by a host of aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and all that she became a mother to.