Dr. Richard Anton Levacy

July 02, 1945, March 06, 2019

Dr. Richard Levacy

Our family is devastated to confirm that Dr. Richard Anton Levacy died on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Far more important than the facts concerning his death is the life he lived. 

If you knew him at all, you either called him Dr. Levacy or Tony or just Lev. We called him Dad and Granddaddy. He was a supporting husband, loving father, doting grandfather, and loyal friend.  He is survived by his wife, Mary Grace; son David Nichols of Prague, Czech Republic, David’s wife Renataand granddaughters Laura, Camilla, Natalie, and Isabella; son Michael Nichols of Austin, Texas, Michael’s wife Nicole,  granddaughters Zoe and Anicaand grandson Torin; his son Ryan Levacy of Austin, Texas and granddaughter Reese; his daughter Catherine Levacy Cockrell of Houston, Texas, Catherine’s husband Kendall and granddaughters Levacy and Caroline; his daughter Dr. Elizabeth Levacy Foley of Miami, Florida, Liz’s husband Ryan and granddaughter Emma; sister Rebecca Downing of Denison, Texas and husband Ted; and sister Rhonda Ray of Denison, Texas and her husband Morgan.  Whether he got to see them daily or just every once in a while, he loved spending time with his grandchildren spoiling them and imparting questionable wisdom.

Tony Levacy was the eldest son of Reverend Thurman Byron Levacy and Milda Muenzler Levacy. He was born on July 2, 1945 in Memphis, TN.  He spent his early days fishing in creeks with his brother, Robert and sister, Rebecca.  When his youngest sister, Rhonda, came along, they turned some of their focus to harassing her, but the outdoors always remained a big part of his life.  After working his way through Austin College, he graduated medical school with honors at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and completed his residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.  He was a veteran of the United States Army Medical Corps and an Honorary Member of the 101st Airborne Division. Dr. Levacy arrived in Beaumont in 1977 and joined Dr. Jerry Lehman and Dr. Robert Robinson to begin to practice ophthalmology.  He has shared his successful practice with Dr. M. Kevin Harmon for the past 26 years and has had countless wonderful staff members along the way. He celebrated 40 years of practicing ophthalmology in Beaumont in 2017.  As the chairperson for the Eye Centers of SETX Christmas party, you knew you were going to one hell of a party and you were most definitely going to win some noteworthy prizes.

When he wasn’t helping his patients see better, he was out seeing the world for himself.  He loved to travel and saw much of the world with his wife Mary Grace, his family, and many of his dear friends.  To travel with Tony was an adventure on its own.  There were certain rules you automatically agreed to when you traveled with Dr. Levacy.  These were rules that he lived by himself.  Try EVERYTHING at least three times.  And if you decide you don’t like a certain food, it is because you’ve never tried “this one”.  Nobody knows these lessons better than his own family.  How many people do you know whose favorite restaurants include both Golden Corral and Thomas Keller’s Per Se in NYC?

Dr. Levacy remained an avid outdoorsman and huge supporter of wildlife organizations, especially the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Lamar University chapter of Ducks Unlimited.  He fished, hunted, and photographed wildlife all over the world.  Whether it was fishing for reds on the bayou or peacock bass on the Amazon, he was always up for fishing. He shared many hunting trips with great friends like Darryl Kantimer in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and Michael Meyers.  We have no doubt he is glad to be reunited with his very favorite hunting buddy and co-chef, Ted Caffarel.

Tony loved people.  All people.  Even the ones whom he knew were wrong on politics.  Many of his closest friends and family were liberals, or as he called them, morons.  He spent his free time working; roping his friends into crazy projects.  He rewired houses, skinned his own gators, endlessly repaired and remodeled his Fish Camp on Hillebrandt Bayou, replaced sprinkler systems, installed air conditioners, mucked properties after Harvey, and on and on.  If you were lucky enough to get roped into working on one of his crazy projects, like David Whitman or Michael Sonnier, you worked your tail off and laughed. A lot. 

Tony was the kind of friend who was always up for an adventure.  If you hinted that you were interested in going to the boats in Lake Charles, he was already headed to the bank to get some cash to shoot craps or play blackjack.  He would play table games until the wee hours of the morning and then he was up before 6am to get back at it again.  He was always the last to go to bed and the first to wake up. (His daughters did not inherit his ability to excel on very little sleep.)

Dr. Levacy loved to host dinner parties at his home. Aside from the annual Levacy Crawfish Boil held every spring in the Levacys’ back yard, Tony loved to entertain smaller groups of friends and family.  He would fly in the freshest sashimi-grade fish from San Diego and host a sushi night.  Or he would head over to HEB and pick up his favorite prime ribeye’s from the butcher.  His steaks were sous vide and his pasta was perfection.

Tony’s generosity knew no bounds.  If you mentioned to him that you really enjoyed pasta, a pasta maker would show up at your front door a few days later.  If you complimented a new gadget he was touting, he would buy 4 more and send one to you and give the other three.  He lived to take care of his friends and family.

Lev was the ultimate prankster.  He loved a good joke….at someone else’s expense.  He was constantly playing jokes on his office staff at work.  If someone left their keys out, good luck trying to find where he hid them!  After a trip to Petco one evening, he thought it would be hilarious to buy some dog biscuits and pass them off as cookies in the office kitchen.  He placed the dog biscuits on a plate in the kitchen and then waited around the corner to see who ate them so he could bark at them. Woof woof!

The one thing Tony could not do was keep a secret.  You did not want to entrust him with a secret he could not share.  With a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face, he would spill your secrets with his rosy cheeks faster than he could whip up a chocolate soufflé.  Now that we mention desserts, the other thing he could not do was walk past a birthday cake and not stick his finger in it...

In lieu of flowers, buy a case of MGD, and enjoy it by the water with friends.  Or order a gin and tonic and a prime filet.  Unless you order it well done.  Then just don’t even bother.  He would also like you to go see the remake of the Dark Crystal. 

A gathering of Dr. Levacy’s family and friends will begin at 5p.m., with a Celebration of his Life at 5:30 p.m., Sunday, March 17, 2019, at “Tony’s Place on the Bayou”, 1517 Hillebrandt Acres, Beaumont. Cremation arrangements were under the direction of Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont.

Broussard's Mortuary - Major Drive
1605 N. Major Drive Beaumont, TX 77713
Gathering of Family and Friends
Tony's Place on the Bayou
1517 Hillebrandt Acres, Beaumont, Texas 77705
Sunday, March 17, 2019
4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Celebration of Dr. Levacy's Life
Tony's Place on the Bayou
1517 Hillebrandt Acres, Beaumont, Texas 77705
Sunday, March 17, 2019
5:00 p.m.
Private Committal
Broussard's Crematorium
5150 Stivers Street Beaumont, TX 77705

Comments (17)

  • M. JIM MAYNARD

    19 March 2019 at 13:06 | #

    Ride high cowboy Tony.
    The thrill will never be gone.

    reply

  • Judy Detrick

    15 March 2019 at 19:10 | #

    MG, So sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family. May God Bless each and every one of you.. If you need to talk or a shoulder I'm always here.

    reply

  • Stacie Quick

    15 March 2019 at 03:45 | #

    Although I didn't know Dr. Levacy personally, he was such a magnificent ophthalmologist!! I have him to thank for saving my vision in his office the first time I saw him. I was in a situation in his office that could have very easily caused sudden blindness. I had been an ophthalmic tech in Louisiana for 15 years, so I definitely was at ease knowing what an amazing doctor he was. I think he enjoyed when I came in because he didn't have to break anything down in layman's terms because I understood exactly what he was saying technically. I will miss him so very much!!! To his family, y'all are in my prayers!!! Thank you for sharing him with us!!!

    reply

  • Nat Adkins

    14 March 2019 at 21:44 | #

    Dr. Levacy leaves a special memory to me as one of the first ophthalmologists to recognize the high cost of eye care medication. In the interest of his patients he supported me in my endeavors at Akorn Inc. and then as I left to start OCuSOFT Inc. His early support helped lead others to recognize newly formed companies offered a savings alternative. That was almost 40 years ago. Since then new therapies have been developed and offered and all considered by Tony as what was in the best interest of his patients. I am privileged to have known him. God bless him and his family. He will not be forgotten.

    reply

  • Joni McGrew

    14 March 2019 at 08:17 | #

    Known to him as Joni Nevius, I worked with Dr. Levacy in the late 90's both in the clinic and laser suite assisting him when he first began doing LASIK and in fact, he did mine for free! He always had a smile on his face and loved to make everyone laugh. He was one of the most generous giving people that I know. After I left his employment, married and moved out of state, I once called him at home on a Sunday afternoon when my nephew had an ophthalmic emergency and he met him at the office and treated him, free of charge and he wasn't even on call. That's just the kind of man he was. He and his wife opened their home to us during the holidays and for summer BBQ's. His generosity knew no limits. At the time I worked for him, my parents still owned Fausto's Fried Chicken in Buna, TX. Dr. Harmon would buy lunch for the entire staff on Fridays and on at least 2 occasions, he ordered food from Fausto's and my mother delivered it the 35 miles to Beaumont. Dr. Levacy loved Fausto's fried chicken!
    I was going through a divorce when Dr. Levacy hired me and was thrust into life as the single parent of a 5-year-old son with autism. I don't think I would have gotten through that year without him. Before I could establish residency in my home state of TX, my ex filed for divorce in Richmond, VA, where the laws were more lenient. Dr. Levacy helped me find a good attorney and though he barely knew me, he helped me fight for sole physical custody of my son and as much child support as possible as Kevin had many special needs. God certainly broke the mold after He made Dr. Tony Levacy. You are truly missed today and always... Your smile, your laugh, and your generous giving spirit. Rest in peace. Your work on Earth here is done.

    reply

  • Robert E Courville,Glenda

    13 March 2019 at 14:26 | #

    We always enjoyed Toni both professionally and personally . Our prayers are with your family, he will be remembered fondly.

    reply

  • Linda Robinson

    12 March 2019 at 22:24 | #

    The death of Tony is one that will affect our whole community. He was always so gracious and friendly. When I would run into Tony or Mary Grace, I knew a party invitation was coming!

    Always a friend, always a hug, and always a concern about how you were doing. His love of his family and his patients was so evident in all the things that he did.

    What a loss of a wonderful kind man and a great doctor!

    reply

  • Robert Robinson M D

    11 March 2019 at 23:41 | #

    I feel so happy I was privileged to know Tony .. He was always the most fun to be with. If you wanted to have a drink and talk Tony was who you wanted to be with ! He was a great doctor and helped thousands ! He leaves a great and successful family and what man could want more. No one could be welcome to heaven more than Dr Tony Levacy !
    Love
    Robert

    reply

  • Tammy stout

    11 March 2019 at 23:16 | #

    I am so sorry for your loss. Dr. Levacy was my doctor for about 30 years. He was wonderful person as well as doctor. He Iknew I was anxious in doctor offices and he always made me feel relaxed. He will be missed.

    reply

  • Jack Morrison

    11 March 2019 at 20:29 | #

    Tony and I were friends at Austin College and brothers in XDH fraternity. He was always quick with a smile and quicker with a prank. He has left us far too early and leaves a giant hole in the lives of so many people. God speed.

    reply

  • Isel Isern

    11 March 2019 at 20:29 | #

    Tony was such a special and wonderful man; it was easy to see into the goodness of his heart through his rapid smile and clear blue eyes. I knew him as a true friend to my brother Reuben; as a man whose generosity knew no bounds; and as a friend and doctor to all of my family--He treated all of us like his own family and we loved him for it! His absence will be felt by all whose lives he touched!
    My deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Mary Grace, Catherine, Liz and all of the Levacy family.

    reply

  • Kristen Rausch

    11 March 2019 at 20:12 | #

    I'm so sorry for your loss of a great man and doctor to me. Y'all are in my thoughts and prayers .

    reply

  • Irene Fuller

    11 March 2019 at 13:00 | #

    Wishing the Levacy family peace to bring comfort and courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart. Irene Fuller, a patient of Dr. Levacy.

    reply

  • Peggy Morgan

    11 March 2019 at 09:02 | #

    Dr. Levacy was our doctor for many, many years. I was also Catherine's lst grade teacher at Cathedral in the Pines. I will never forget that her mother brought a red and black snake in a cookie tin to my classroom (not knowing how afraid I was of snakes). It jumped out of the tin and one of the kids picked it up and put it back. He will be missed!

    reply

  • Theresa Hardy

    11 March 2019 at 03:17 | #

    I worked for Beaumont Eye Associates 1983 in the diagnostic testing. So sorry to here about Dr. Levacy passing. He was great to work for and for sure a GREAT DR. My heart and prayers for the family and office associates.
    Dr. Levacy loved to dress up for Halloween at the office and see patients. He was always a lot of fun.
    You will be truly missed Dr. Levacy.

    reply

  • Donna Williams

    10 March 2019 at 19:01 | #

    MG I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my heart and prayers.

    reply

  • Shirley Miller

    10 March 2019 at 16:29 | #

    I am so sorry that the world has lost this wonderful man. I worked with/for him for only one year and I have treasured memories of his kindness, generosity and mischief! He knew me as Shirley Primeaux when I worked at Beaumont Eye Associates in th original location on Medical Center Drive.

    reply

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.