According to many of the 100 who attended a memorial Thursday for Heidi Levy at Bowman High School, what the world lost the day she died were the hugs she would no longer give to show love and compassion.
Levy, 69, was struck and killed at 9:13 p.m. on Dec. 13 in a traffic collision on Copper Hill Drive at Gold Canyon Drive.
On Thursday, those attending the memorial filed into the school’s central outdoor quad area, picked up a blue glow stick, listened to others express their love and watch a family-made video starring a smiling Heidi Levy, who worked as the campus supervisor for 20 years.
“Heidi touched so many lives in so many positive ways,” Bowman Principal Eran Zeevi told attendees.
“Heidi would do whatever it took to make a student’s day or make a student smile, even if she got in trouble for it,” he said.
“I remember a day I had to come down on her for going out on her lunch break and buying lunch for a student and sneaking it into his class,” Zeevi said. “She was breaking the rules but I remember thinking that I can’t be mad at her when all she was doing was doing the right thing for a starving student.”
“She always cared. She was always sincere and she showed an abundance of love at Bowman to our students and staff,” he said.
“Then there was the famous Heidi hugs,” he said. “How many of you ever got a Heidi hug?”
After scanning the quad, Zeevi said: “That’s pretty much everybody.”
“It was the same conversation every time. ‘Heidi, you can’t hug the kids,’” Zeevi said. “‘I know’ she would say. ‘It won’t happen again.’ Typically, the very next day, what do you think I would see Heidi doing?”
“But, I tell you, those hugs made students smile and helped them get through some really difficult times,” he said.
A couple of former students who walked up to the microphone broke down in tears, remembering the woman who helped them.
Former student Chris, who confessed his anxiety and trouble relating to others, said: “She has shown us so much love. I, unabashedly, call her mom.”
One young graduate told attendees she recalls Levy saying once: “I wish I could take away these kids’ pain.”
Levy’s daughter, Kayla, wrote a eulogy read by her husband, saying: “Heidi loved every single kid she helped throughout her career as if they were her own.”
“She impacted so many students’ lives just by listening to them, hugging them, and making them feel loved. Heidi was the only staff member to ever receive a standing ovation from every student during Bowman graduation.”
On Twitter: @jamesarthurholt