January 5, 2007
Aspen, CO ColoradoWarren Levine, a pilot and full-time resident of Aspen since 1985, died unexpectedly but peacefully at home on Saturday, Dec. 30. The cause was an apparent heart attack. He was 73.
Warren Levine was born on Nov. 24, 1933, in Newark, N.J., where he graduated from Arts High School. After briefly attending Rutgers University, he dropped out to join the Air Force in 1953. He served as an air traffic controller in Tripoli, Libya. After completing his service, he earned his pilot’s licenses, and that vocation became the passion of his life. When he retired from American Airlines as a 727 captain in 1993, he had flown for the airline for 27 years without ever taking a sick day.
He then joined Aspen Aviation, a charter operation, and became chief pilot, flying Learjets until the dissolution of the company in 2005. At the time of his death, he was captain of a Learjet operated by Roaring Fork Partners. On Dec. 30, he flew from San Diego to Rifle, before driving back home to Aspen. Someone had recently asked him, “Are you ever going to quit flying?” He replied, “If I’m lucky, it’ll be the day that I die.” And that was how it was.
Warren Levine was widely admired and loved by the pilots he mentored in his long career. He was known as “a pilot’s pilot.” He was also a talented player of classical piano, which he began at an early age, and had recently taken up golf.He is survived by his wife, Janet Guthrie, whom he married in 1989; his daughter, Beth Levine of Bothell, Wash., from his first marriage to Wynne Kurak, who passed away in 1983, and his stepsons from that marriage, Brian Turner of Wellington, Fla., and Jace Turner of Colorado Springs; his older brother Harvey Levine of West Bloomfield, Mich.; and his twin brother, Harold Levine of Delray Beach, Fla. His parents, Raymond and Esther Green Levine, preceded him in death. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Aspen Music Festival and School. A memorial service will take place in New Jersey on Friday, Jan. 19. A memorial service in Aspen is pending.