Merrilee "Meredith Lee" (Gates) Levins, 88, passed away peacefully on March 20, 2023. Born in Gardner, Massachusetts in 1934 to Leona (Dodge) and Linwood Gates, Merrilee was a devoted wife, loving mother, and talented homemaker. Her greatest joy was her family. As a cherished only child, Merrilee spent many happy days with her precious dog “Brownie”. As a young adult, she was welcomed into the Jessamine Chapter Order of the Eastern Star Masonic temple and enjoyed many gatherings at the lodge with her parents. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Framingham State Teachers College in 1956. Following graduation, Merrilee enjoyed her time as Hampden County’s home economics demonstration agent in West Springfield, MA.
In 1957, Merrilee married her hometown sweetheart, Philip Levins. They were blessed with four children whom they lovingly raised at their home in Lexington, MA. It was in Lexington where Merrilee became an active member in the community of Pilgrim Congregational Church.
Merrilee and Phil built a lakeside cottage on Sunset Lake in Ashburnham, MA where they enjoyed family summers and volunteering on the association board. Merrilee would happily host decades of gatherings in the Lexington home. She often remarked how wonderful it was to be surrounded by her loved ones at the dinner table. If not preparing
her family’s favorite meals, Merrilee always had a knitting needle or a crochet hook in her hands. She could often be found running station wagon shuttles for all her children’s activities between youth sports and Girl Scouts. Merrilee’s children will remember her handmade Halloween costumes and knitted winter mittens and hats along with an afghan for every bed. In Merrilee's home, every holiday had a cherished tradition.
With a tissue in every pocket and a band aid in every purse, Merrilee was ever prepared. At the age of 49, Merrilee sadly suffered the devastating loss of her husband. Soon after, she dedicated herself to work outside the home and proudly served as a bookkeeper at the Chapel Hill – Chauncy Hall School in Waltham, MA. In addition, Merrilee continued a tradition she had begun with her husband in enjoying annual family vacations to the Caribbean islands. After raising her four children, she became a voracious reader and a doting grandmother. Her granddaughters fondly recall the many wonderful moments of reading, baking, puzzle making, and dinner outings at Friendly’s. Always the hero behind the scenes, she was supremely supportive of every endeavor made by her children and grandchildren. Merrilee is survived by her beloved children: Deborah, Wendy (Chuck), Greg (Martha), and Peter (Judith). She is also survived by her two beautiful granddaughters, Julia and Grace, along with many cousins and lifelong friends. Merrilee is predeceased by her husband and her parents.
With respect for Merrilee’s final wishes, a private interment will be held in Gardner, MA on Friday, March 24, 2023. Donations in Merrilee’s memory may be made to Pilgrim Congregational Church UCC in Lexington, Massachusetts https://pilgrimcongregational.org/learning-growing-caring/giving/ or Mass Audubon Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, Massachusetts https://www.massaudubon.org/get-outdoors/wildlife-sanctuaries/drumlin-farm
To leave an online condolence please visit, www.mackfamilyfh.com.
Kevin J. Mack, Walter C. Taylor, Douglas M. Stone and Melissa McQuaid, funeral directors