Julian Levin, a longtime Beaufort attorney known for his community involvement and love of the water, died Thursday.
He was 94.
Levin practiced law in Beaufort for more than 65 years, only retiring for good last January. He was known to work cases for clients of all income levels.
Clients would leave shrimp or fresh vegetables at Levin's door as payment or thanks.
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Levin was a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Beaufort and served on the school board during desegregation.
"He always gave of himself," said his daughter, Marie Levin Tibor. "He never wanted to be the center of attention."
Like many who have always called Beaufort home, Levin lived a life that was never far from the water.
His home for the past 30 years was on the Beaufort River off of Meridian Road, a playground for he and his wife's four children and eight grandchildren.
Growing up he towed his scow to Charleston and Savannah for regattas. He ferried Boy Scout troops to Hilton Head Island, Hunting Island and Fripp Island for camping trips.
Weekend trips with his family involved camping and fishing on Pritchards Island or Bull Point.
Levin often told his children the story of how he would sleep along with his brothers atop the Hunting Island lighthouse as a child, his son, Arthur, remembered Friday.
During World War II, Levin served in the U.S. Navy in the Phillipines and Borneo as a beachmaster, who goes ashore ahead of the arrival of troops. He rarely talked about his service until later in life, Marie said.
His children didn't know how dangerous his job had been until reading a story about beachmasters in a magazine.
Levin began practicing law in 1949 with the firm now known as Levin, Gilley & Fisher.
"He was just an extraordinary man," said Marc Fisher, Levin's partner the past 10 years. "He as a gentleman; he was a great attorney, counselor, sage -- just a great man."
Levin joined the Rotary Club of Beaufort the same year he began practicing law. In 2009, he received the club's highest honor , the Rotary Bowl, for his community involvement.
"If ever a man was a more perfect example of the motto of Rotary -- service above self -- he is Julian S. Levin, known affectionately to all of us as 'Junie,' " Levin's friend Bernie Kole said in presenting the award.
Levin was active in the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club. He always wanted to live on the water, Marie said, and eventually moved from the family's home off Ribaut Road to one on the Beaufort River.
Family trips always included the outdoors and environment, his children said, including a kayaking trip when Levin was in his 80s.
His childhood was also spent "in the river, all the time," Levin told The Beaufort Gazette in 2009. "The sheriff used to tell people that he could've done a better job of law enforcement if he wasn't always pulling me out of the river."
Follow reporter Stephen Fastenau at twitter.com/IPBG_Stephen.
- Local attorney Julian Levin puts service before self, Aug. 4, 2009