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Matthew Levi, 55, passed away at home surrounded by his family on August 1, 2020 after living with brain cancer for more than 3 years. Matt was born December 4, 1964 in Flagstaff, AZ to Phillip and Robbie Levi. He attended Lawrence High School, and then The University of Kansas where he earned his Journalism degree. Later he went on to earn his Masters in Architecture from KU. While an undergraduate, Matt competed on the KU Diving Team and was a proud member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity, where he created many life-long friendships.
Matt met the love of his life, Katie Grieb, while at KU. Vowing to marry her even before their first date, Matt married Katie in 1988, sharing more than 31 wonderful years of marriage. Together they raised three children; Parker, Lily and Reed. When asked what he is most proud of, Matt always replied, "My Family." He deeply loved his children and worked tirelessly to be the best parent he could be. Matt co-founded The Foundation for Religious Education, now known as the FIRE Foundation, in 1996 so that Parker and other children with special learning needs could attend their Catholic parish school. This foundation continues to serve children in Kansas City today and now has six affiliates in five states. Matt then served as president of the National Board for Disorders of the Corpus Callosum to help children and families across the country. Locally, he served on the Jackson County Board for Developmental Disabilities. In more recent years, Matt created a semi-independent adult living model, allowing Parker to enjoy autonomous, mature living in the years to come.
Matts love of historic architecture drew him and Katie to the Historic Hyde Park neighborhood to raise their family. Matts avocation was the quality and historically appropriate restoration of the beautiful architecture in Kansas City. He loved to peruse estate sales and architectural salvage for just the right sconce, door knob, or other traditional fixtures that he reused in his home, always preferring something old over something new. Matts architectural eye carried over into his garden, where he spent much time creating a lush, beautiful outdoor space. He was active in the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association and served on the board for many years. Though Matt loved the architecture of Hyde Park, he truly treasured the company of many friends and neighbors in a good "porch sit", always with cocktails, stories and laughter.
Though not Catholic, Matt remained devoted to Katie in her faith and actively participated in raising a Catholic family. He served a 3-year term on the Visitation School Ministry Team, volunteered as a greeter and served for many years on the Art and Environment Committee, where he curated unique and highly praised floral arrangements for Sunday and holiday Masses. He attended Mass weekly with his family and preferred his spot in the front row.
Matt joined Block Real Estate Services, LLC in 1996 where he was a Certified Commercial Investment broker until he stopped working in January 2019 due to his illness. Matt was always excited about his work, especially in midtown and downtown. He loved Kansas City, its many diverse neighborhoods and thoughtful revitalization and improvement efforts. Matt enjoyed contributing to these efforts through volunteer service, including service on the Troost Corridor Community Association board for several years.
Katie and her family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude for the infinite ways that friends, neighbors and family members have shown their love and support over the last 3.5 years, especially these last five months. Matt is survived by his wife, Katie; children, Parker, Lily and Reed; his parents, Phillip and Robbie Levi; sisters Holly Howe (Gerred) and Mary Mehl (Charlie); as well as many in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and a large, loving community of friends. Funeral Mass will be 2pm Tuesday, August 11th at Visitation Parish, 5141 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64112. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to the FIRE Foundation www.firefoundation.org.
Mass of Christian Burial Visitation Church
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
5141 Main StreetKansas City, Missouri 64113