Esther R. Levin, women's rights advocate

Esther R. Levin, who spent her life fighting for women's rights, died Jan. 26 of Alzheimer's disease at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was 88.

The daughter of Frank J. Rubenstein, an insurance consultant, and Mary Rubenstein, a homemaker, Esther Gertrude Rubenstein was born in Baltimore.


"She was raised in the Saville Apartments on Druid Park Lake Drive that overlooked the Druid Hill Park Reservoir," said her husband of 64 years, Sidney Levin, a retired corporate manager.

After graduating from Western High School in 1942, she earned a bachelor's degree in 1945 from the University of Wisconsin. During the final days of World War II, she worked for the National Labor Relations Board in Washington.


Mrs. Levin returned to college and earned a master's degree in 1949 from Radcliffe College. From the 1960s to the early 1980s, she was a supervisor for the Maryland State Human Relations Commission.

During the 1970s and 1980s, she served on the boards of Planned Parenthood and Marylanders for the Right to Choose.

Gov. Harry R. Hughes appointed Mrs. Levin to the Maryland State Human Relations Commission in the 1980s. She also became a registered lobbyist for the National Organization for Women and was a proponent of women's rights in Annapolis during the 1980s.

"Women's issues were the thrust of her life, and she was happy that she had lived to see that they no longer had to struggle to define themselves," her husband said.

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The former Mount Washington resident, who had lived at Harper House in Cross Keys for the past decade, enjoyed attending the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera.

"We were subscribers for 30 years to the Met and would go to New York for matinees," said Mr. Levin.

Mrs. Levin and her husband had also traveled throughout the underdeveloped world.

Mrs. Levin was a former member of Chizuk Amuno Congregation and was a member of Beth Am Congregation.


Funeral services were held Tuesday at Sol Levinson & Bros.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Levin is survived by a daughter, Deborah M. Levin of St. Louis; and two grandchildren.