PAWTUCKET, R.I. – Thelma Jo Levitt, of Pawtucket, passed away on Oct. 31, 2022, at HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center, in Providence. Born Oct. 15, 1946, in Lawton, Oklahoma, she was the daughter of the late Roy E. and Betty E. (Shafer) Jenkins. Jo was a graduate of the class of 1964 at the Apache High School, Apache, Oklahoma. She was a member of the First Baptist Church, where she played piano for Sunday school, was the pianist for the high school chorus and acted in the senior play.
Jo was the loving wife of Richard Alan Levitt, of Pawtucket, and mother of Julie Vanessa, Mindy Melissa and Sarah Dawn. She had eight grandchildren: Nathaniel Roy Dunbar Levitt, Kelsae Rhiannon Levitt, Isabelle Rochelle Carroll, Devin Christian Carroll, Gabriel Claude Carroll, Dylan Andrew McIntyre, Jordan Alan McIntyre and Brayden Alexander McIntyre. Jo is survived by her sister, Fanny Lou Jenkins Grote (Richard). She was preceded in death by her brother, Berl Leroy Jenkins, and nephew, Joshua Richard Grote. Also surviving is her nephew, Daniel Andrew Grote (Kathy), and daughter, Elizabeth Claire, as well as more nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces.
In 1994, an incident while scuba diving in Cozumel left Jo with an injury to her spinal cord that resulted in paraplegia. Despite her disability, she continued to be the independent woman she always had been. Her husband, Rick, provided care for her during the times that she was unable to care for herself. At home after the incident, Jo provided granny-daycare for all of her grandchildren, which fostered very close relationships with all of them. She had a profound impact on everyone she met. She was an amazing, warm and loving woman who always lit up a room when she entered.
The joys of her life were her husband, children and grandchildren. She enjoyed taking the kids to the beach during the summer, camping in their trailer at the pond on weekends, scuba diving during vacation and throwing parties. She and Rick adored each other and shared amazing memories together. Throughout her time in her wheelchair, Rick would push her throughout the neighborhood, and she enjoyed every walk they took while talking with neighbors.
After years of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Jo passed peacefully at the HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center. As Rick put it, any time with her after her scuba diving accident was considered “bonus time.” He had 28 years of “bonus time” with her, which we all appreciated and loved! She will be missed by many! The family is especially grateful to HopeHealth and their compassion to Jo and the entire family. They will never be forgotten.
Jo’s forever friend Marie Flinchum’s grandson, Dylan Flinchum, had a rare and terminal disease, metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD). Jo was passionate about supporting her friend and her friend’s family from the very beginning. Jo and her family have attended the Dylan Flinchum Rock On 5K each year since it began. This organization helped the Flinchum family support Dylan Flinchum’s medical needs, as well as the needs of other families with MLD. Unfortunately, Dylan passed away on Nov. 11, 2021. His family continues to support other families with MLD. Our family will always continue to help this amazing foundation. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jo's memory can be made to the Dylan Flinchum Rock On! Foundation (DylanRockOn.org).