Luella Nash LeVee
JOURNALIST, AUTHOR, ARTIST
A native Kentuckian known for her journalistic and artistic skills, Luella Nash LeVee, 96, went to her Lord Dec. 29, 2020, at Gaithersburg, MD. She dreamed of a journalistic career at 12, when she gathered news of Park Hills, KY, and produced a weekly typed newspaper. Her first bylines in a daily newspaper came at 16 on a six-week Western tour when she sent back a weekly column to the Kentucky Times Star. She also studied art at the Cincinnati Art Academy. While at the University of Cincinnati, she had features published in the Cincinnati Post illustrated with her charcoal sketches of WWII servicemen interviewed at the Salvation Army Donut Center. At 19, she married William LeVee and worked as a reporter on the Kentucky Post while he served overseas in the Army. Next came public relations jobs in Cincinnati and New York City. When her husband returned and continued studies at the University of Michigan, Mrs. LeVee worked at UM. Following the young couple’s move to Buffalo, NY, she became Assistant News Director for the University of Buffalo. After the couple was divorced in 1953, Mrs. LeVee reared her two-year-old son alone. To support her son and herself, she worked on the editorial staffs of the Buffalo Courier-Express, Cincinnati Bell Bulletin, and American Israelite. She also freelanced articles for secular and Christian publications. In 1976, she at last received her bachelor’s degree from Northern Kentucky University, majoring in graphic design. Mrs. LeVee came to the Washington, DC, area in 1984 to be near her son, Biff, and began editing for Federal agencies. She retired at age 82. In 2003, her book, Pure Joy: Walking Through Trials with Christ, was published. It focused on her interviews with persons who knew the joy of the Lord while undergoing the deepest adversity. (She had become a Christian at age 53 when she surrendered her live to Christ at a Billy Graham Crusade in Cincinnati. At first a member of the Ft. Mitchell Baptist Church, Ft. Michell, KY, she joined Fourth Presbyterian Church, Bethesda, MD, in 1984.) When asked which of her varied attributes she would like remembered, she replied, “Most important is that I am a child of God.” Since 2005, Mrs. LeVee lived at Asbury Methodist Village, a retirement community in Gaithersburg, MD. In addition to writing a column for the Asbury newspaper, she returned to her early passion for art, became an avid watercolorist, and exhibited in many venues. Survivors include her son and his wife (William “Biff” and Cherie LeVee) of Rockville, MD; five step grandchildren and 13 step grandchildren; and three godchildren--Hans, Erica, and Ingrid Gropp, children of Douglas and Robin Gropp. Burial services will be Monday, Feb. 15, at 11 AM, Highland Cemetery, Ft. Mitchell, KY.