Paly grad Becky Levy dies of rare syndrome | January 16, 2008 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - January 16, 2008

Paly grad Becky Levy dies of rare syndrome

Becky Elise Levy, the 28-year-old daughter of Steve and Nancy Levy of Palo Alto, died suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep Jan. 3.

Becky grew up in Palo Alto and graduated from Palo Alto High School. For the past eight years she lived in an independent-living community for young adults in Napa, where she worked in the hospitality industry, most recently at Silverado Country Club.

Levy died of a rare "sudden unexpected death" syndrome, a condition that affects about one in a thousand persons with epilepsy — so rare that physicians seldom inform families about it. Becky also was developmentally disabled, but received strong community support while in Palo Alto, according to her parents.

"We are so grateful to this community for the love, support and encouragement they gave to Becky while she was growing up," they said in a statement. They expressed particular gratitude to Sheila Mandoli and the Downtown Children's Center, Robin Doskey in elementary school, Janet Fox at JLS Middle School, Marco Dondero and Carolyn Ruck at Palo Alto High School, and the school programs "that allowed Becky to graduate from the same high school as her brother," Dave Levy, now of San Diego.

Becky also participated in the Special Olympics and the a horseback riding program in Napa that gave her chances to participate in "regular" activities, Nancy Levy said.

Her parents said Becky will be remembered for the special way she cared for people and "her incredible Becky bearhugs that she gave so freely."

She loved to do art projects and give them to friends and family.

"Becky loved animals, especially horses," Nancy Levy said.

The week before she died was spent happily with her immediate family in Napa, her grandmother in Los Angeles and her brother in San Diego.

"We had never seen her so happy," her parents recalled.

In addition to her parents and brother, Becky is survived by her grandparents, Maurice and Shirley Levy of Los Angeles, and by her birth family: her birth dad, Tim Azzaria, his wife, Lancie, her brother, John, and sister, Leila, of Millbrae.

There will be a celebration of her life in Napa on Monday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m. at the Silverado Country Club. The family prefers memorials be donations to her independent living center, Moving Forward, 1020 Clinton St., Napa, CA 94559.


Posted by Morgan Anderson, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 21, 2008 at 11:42 am

Hi I am one of Beckys friend at Moving Forward, I just wanted to say how sorry I am that this had to happen to such a free spirited person. I loved her with all my heart. I hope u all who read donate to Moving Forward.
Thank u and god Bliss

Posted by Timmy, a basketball/volleyball player for the Napa Special Olympics with Becky 2001-2007, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 11, 2008 at 2:30 pm

I was friends with Becky Levy for nearly 8 years. She (Becky) & I were on the same Napa Special Olympics volleyball team in 2002 which won the gold medal in the state tournament and runner up in the state quiliafier in basketball last year (2007) in Santa Rosa winning the silver medal and she bowled with me in my Saturday league from 2001-2006, although she (Becky) is gone now, but her memory will be with me always and I'll think of exciting memories of Becky with me forever. Love you Becky always & forever. Love, Timmy

Posted by Sara Olson, a resident of Fairmeadow School
on Mar 18, 2008 at 3:56 pm

I am very saddened to hear about Becky's passing she made me laugh with her phrase like Waka Waka Waka and she gave me a beckybear hug!

I will miss her alot

Love Sara Olson

Posted by Napa Valley Special Olympics of Napa, a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2008 at 4:20 pm

We (The Napa Special Olympics) will think of Becky Levy as long as she remembers us in heaven every day & night until we reunite with Becky Levy's presence in heaven again. We love you Becky always & forever. Love always, the coaches & athletes of the Napa Valley Special Olympics

Posted by Patrick "Panther" Wilburn, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Thanks for the memories Becky. You were the sweetest girl I met in volleyball in 2002, you are also funny and enjoyable. Thanks again, Patrick Wilburn

Posted by Nancy Goodin, Napa Special Olympics bowling coach, a resident of another community
on May 25, 2008 at 8:13 am

I met Becky in 2001-2004, when she bowled in our Special Olympics Saturday bowling with her moving foward roommates, she'll be missed and she was always good to me and the athletes on and off the lanes @ Napa Bowl, she always was in a good mood and had a positive attuide towards me. Thanks again Becky for bowling with us for 4 seasons with us in the Napa Special Olympics bowling. Your bowling coach Nancy & Gil Goodin & Mike in Napa

Posted by Sarah, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2008 at 3:58 pm

becky was one of the nicest people i met in my life......i miss her dearly and she will be missed dearly here at moving forward.

Posted by Alexis Johnson, a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Oh my God. I just came upon this while trying to find her on Facebook and hopefully reconnect. I met Becky at Girl Scout Camp Bothin. We were about 11. She was my favorite person there. She kept me awake by hitting me with stuffed animals and making fart noises. I'm in shock right now.

Posted by Kim Price (Napa Special Olympics spokesperson) of Calistoga, a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2012 at 8:11 am

I had the honor to play 1 year of Napa Valley Special Olympics volleyball on the Napa Valley Stompers team with Becky back in 2002, she (Becky) & Twila van Damme & I were the only girls on the team that competed in Pleasanton as a state champion volleyball team when she (Becky) helped us win the team a gold medal over Humboldt County in the volleyball championship game against Humboldt County by serving the final 3 points to win the gold medal. You're missed by your friends & coaches in the Napa Valley Special Olympics, please continue blessing us with your love and guide us with the strength to remember your spirit.

Posted by Matt Francis, former basketball/volleyball coach for the Napa Valley Special Olympics, a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I had the chance to coach Becky Levy twice, once in volleyball winning gold in 2002 in Pleasanton in the state championships and in 2007 for basketball in Santa Rosa at the Santa Rosa Jr. College which the basketball team with Becky coming home with the silver medal, she was our team captian for our basketball team for the Napa Special Olympics 2007 basketball team. I will never forget what she said to me, she told me, Matt, stop sucking up while we are playing our basketball game right now here in Santa Rosa and I told Becky your in charge. Thanks for the memories Becky, I know your watching over your friends and family in the special olympics in Napa and Palo Alto.

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