Northern Neck Master Naturalists
Class of 2019
May 3, 1942 — Sept. 5, 2019
Photos by Patricia McMurray and Kyle Langford
He had a wry sense of humor and nothing flustered him. He was a super addition to our class and I admire him for completing the rigorous requirements of the class in spite of his illness.
Eliot was a kind and quiet gentleman. His curiosity and intellect made for wide reaching areas of interest and was always a delight to talk with. We will miss him.
Beth and Mickey
After years of enthusiastic patience with Bryna’s passionate dedication to the Northern Neck Master Naturalists Eliot was well on his way to establishing himself amongst the most dedicated and we lost him much, much too soon. But not before he left us all with fond memories and a renewed commitment by virtue of his own.
Bobbie Burton and Nancy Joel
Page and Jane Henley continue to be terribly saddened by Eliot’s sudden death. Jane enjoyed knowing Eliot through sharing Master Naturalists adventures, and we both spent interesting and eventful time with him through the Great Decisions course at St. Mary’s White Chapel. He is a model of how to live a life for others, both people and animals.
Page and Jane Henley
One thing I remember is how intelligent, well thought out, and complex his questions in class were! I felt like a kindergartner next to him! He reminded me of the saying "Still waters run deep" and when I read his obituary I saw that not only were his accomplishments deep but wide also, ranging from Peace Corps Work in Peru, to bringing technology into the classroom, and raising service dogs. Thank you for your service to others, Eliot Levinson. I'm grateful to have known you for this brief time.
In sharing our Heathsville “come here” stories, Eliot and I discovered we had grown up in the same town – Brookline, Massachusetts. Not only that, but our houses were a mile apart and we each spent time exploring and fishing (especially bluegill sunfish-Lepomis macrochirus) in the Brookline Reservoir which my house backed up to. He even knew of the big weeping willow tree (Salix babylonica) which was a favorite spot of mine. I’ll always wonder if we were ever there at the same time – in spirit undoubtedly.
We found another connecting point - Eliot did educational consulting in the Baltimore, MD area, where I was a teacher; we compared notes about various school superintendents, educational trends and initiatives. Whether it was seining at VIMS or listening to his thoughtful questions and reflections during class or field trips, Eliot shared his love of life, nature and all living things, his love of teaching, and his love of lifetime learning. He made so many thoughtful observations. I feel so lucky to have met him and to have been one of his classmates in the 2019 Northern Master Naturalist class. Eliot, you are missed.
With heartfelt condolences to Bryna and all his family.
"As coordinator for the 2019 BTC, Eliot was a delight to have in our class. I appreciated his droll sense of humor as well as his curiosity and love of nature. I’m sorry that we won’t have Eliot on our future Master Naturalist adventures but I’m glad that I had an opportunity to get to know him for this short time.”
Eliot, Really enjoyed our time together in our class. Thank you for the life you provided to this world.
I was shocked and saddened about Eliot’s death. I knew him only a short time but I found him to be a kind and intelligent man. He was an active part of our master naturalist class and I will miss his presence. I am so sorry for Byrna’s loss.
To Eliot - A thank you for sharing your dog's hairs, your interests and your insights with us in so many demonstrably humorous ways. I enjoyed knowing you. EL RIP.
What a delight to know Eliot! His humor, curiosity, and knowledge added to my experience in our Basic Training Class. I will never forget Eliot and am so thankful to have known him.
Eliot and his wife are close friends and I have lots of great stories and laughs with him. I was thrilled when he told me he wished to take the Master Naturalist class. During the class and visits to their beautiful property, I saw a transformation from renaissance Ph.D. intellectual to a inquiring naturalist who now preferred to wear boots and tick clothes, not wingtips and slacks. No better example exists then his sharing with me his phenomenal find and observation of a dung beetle on his property. He was admirably fascinated by such evolutionary wonder – at that point I knew he had arrived at being a Curious Naturalist. I will miss him but will always remember his goofy smile, dry wit, intellectualism and how watching an insect roll a piece of shit was an exciting point in his life. I suspect he is still sharing that observation with friends in the afterlife. He was one of a kind and did much good in his life.
I didn’t really know Eliot until class started. Once it started, Eliot and I were buddies. The last time I saw him, he gave me tomatoes. Eliot and I both love to cook. We were going to cook together. So, I’ll think of Eliot when I cook.
I, too, found our time together too brief, but am thankful that our paths did cross through the NNMN 2019 BTC. I think his intelligence and wit struck us all, but it was apparent that he was a deeply reflective man as well. Knowing others who have worked with the organization, Canine Companions for Independence, I was aware of the tremendous amount of time and commitment those who “train” these puppies must provide. The fact that Eliot and his wife provided this service elevated both of them further in my esteem. Eliot is truly one who has left this world a better place than he found it.