Joan Roberta Debnam-Leviner was born on October 17, 1943 to the late Mamie H. Debnam and Harvey B. Debnam Sr. in Warren County, NC. She was a hardworking woman that lived a life of purpose and fulfilled her purpose in every endeavor she embarked on. At the age of four she began assisting
customers with making their purchases at her father’s store. This is where she had the opportunity to sharpen her mathematical skills. Joan was a scholar. She received excellent grades and learned a lot of life skills by the time she completed John R. Hawkins High School.
Joan moved to Boston at the age of 18 in search of work as there were limited job opportunities in Warren County. She settled in the South End and began a married life on Elm Hill Ave in 1965 with the late Alexander Leviner Sr. After some time working and living in Boston she relocated to Alabama, ventured on a cross-country trip to live in Costa Rica in the 1970s, and eventually made it back to Boston.
While back in Boston, Joan was a full-time, stay-at-home mom raising her young children and grandchildren. She also became the neighborhood childcare provider on Rockwell Street and provided a safe space for children after school. Many personalities filled her home over the years. Joan later became a Laundry Aide at The Boston Home where she worked for 10+ years until she retired at the age of 77.
Anyone that knew Joan understood her position on many things. She had her own set of beliefs on how you should treat people and how people should live a healthy lifestyle. These were important ideologies and values that she used to raise her eight surviving children, Darrell D. Debnam, Alexander Leviner Jr., Timothy J. Leviner and spouse Tanya Leary-Leviner, Veronica M. Adeleke, Brendan C.R. Leviner, Millard D. Leviner, Kevin Leviner, and Mary P. Leviner.
Joan is also survived by her 19 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, her sisters Julia Merritt and Jannie Fowler, her brother Dean Debnam and spouse Ella Debnam, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends she loved dearly.
Joan is preceded by her brother Harvey “Brother” Debnam Jr., her sister Sandra Debnam and her nephew Landon Debnam.
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