77-year old Maria Levy loved the opera. When she worked at opera companies in San Diego and Connecticut. From 2002 to 2012 she was the Executive Administrator at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Opera & Ballet. In 2012 she moved to Tacoma to be closer to her son and two grandsons. She lived with them in her penthouse apartment at 1 St. Helens. Still feeling the call of the opera, she then became the Artistic Administrator of the Tacoma Opera. She was known as someone who always wanted to help people.
Sometime early Monday October 16th, something happened in Maria’s apartment. Maria’s 49-year-old son called police at around 5:30am. Her son claims that he heard his mother screaming in her bedroom and confronted an intruder who had attacked his mother. He could not describe the intruder and his story did not match up with the evidence. There were also indications that her son had tried to clean up some blood. He was wearing a t-shirt with a sweater pulled over it, but had blood stains on the t-shirt. And there was no evidence of anyone entering or leaving the penthouse apartment. Prosecutors allege that her son beat his mother in the head and neck with a broken liquor bottle then strangled her leaving Maria dead in her bedroom while her two grandsons slept in the next room. They further allege that when he realized he couldn’t clean it up, he made up a story of an intruder.
Maria’s son has been arrested and charged with second degree murder. This is the Eighth Tacoma homicide this year. It is also the first Tacoma homicide in which a son murdered his mother since the 2011 murder of Jacqueline Hensler. Every time someone dies in this city this community suffers a loss. When it’s someone like Maria Levy that loss is all the more obvious. My thoughts are with her young grandsons, the rest of her family and her coworkers and friends. Tacoma had the pleasure of Maria’s presence for far too short a time.
As always, the comments section is moderated. It is reserved for those who knew Maria and want to share thoughts or memories of her. Any negative comments are deleted.
– Jack Cameron
I don’t even know what to say. As you know Jack, my wife is the Production Manager for the Opera and in my capacity previously as BCPA Production Manager and for the last couple years as a lighting designer and set designer for the opera have worked closely with Maria since she moved to Tacoma. She was a wonderful, sweet, kind, and charming lady who was dedicated to two things; the Opera and her family. She loved music and children, and was always excited to see me and brightened my day on a regular basis. I still can’t even fathom that she’s gone.
My heart goes out to the entire family. Everyone involved loses
Truly this is impossible to absorb – just losing a truly remarkable person and treasured friend of 40-some years. Were our lives filled with Marias just like her! A few notes: Maria also worked for many years as Director of Marketing for Pittsburgh Opera. I had the great pleasure of working with her there and, earlier at KGTV in San Diego whee she had been a reporter, Director of Community Affairs and an account executive. She was loved and respected everywhere and by everyone.
This picture of Maria brings tears to my eyes. I have had the joy of being with Maria only a handful of times, but know her to have been a kind, loving, passionate and giving person. She deserved to continue her life and share her light – I am deeply saddened she will not be able to do so anymore.
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We attended the service for Maria. Her family, as well as Sebastian’s family, grieve the horrific loss of her bright light. It is clear that both families and everyone involved believes that Maria’s son is innocent. And all are shocked that he is still in jail.