About Ned Levitt

My Story

I am one of the top franchise lawyers in Canada and a prolific legal writer and sought after speaker on franchise and distribution law.  I was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1975.  I am a senior partner in Dickinson Wright LLP, which is a 500 strong Canada/U.S. law firm.  I married my high school sweet heart, Cheryl, who I met when we were both 17.  We have been married for over 54 years.  I am the father of 3 daughters, one of whom, Stacey, died in 1995 at the age of 18.  I have 3 grandchildren ranging in age from 12 to 17.

Following the death of Stacey, I became immersed in grief recovery and have counselled hundreds of bereaved parents and helped them on their grief journey.  I have written and spoken often on the topic of grief recovery, including for Bereaved Families of Ontario, Bereaved Jewish Families of Ontario, York University, Bereaved Parents of the USA and the Human Resource Association of Ontario.

I play many sports and stay physically fit.  My greatest passion is spending time, with my family, at my cottage on Georgian Bay.

Topic I speak about:

I completed my daughter’s dream.

I have spent countless hours since my daughter died keeping her spirit alive and realizing her dreams.  Through her incredible poetry, Stacey has touched many people and inspired them to find a path through their life crisis.  My journey has taken me to mountain tops and empowered me to help others survive the unsurviveable.

When my 18-year-old daughter Stacey was struck and killed by a car while jogging, I thought my world had ended. In fact, I was consumed by thoughts of ending my life…but something about Stacey’s spirit kept me going…

Contact me through Lori Dalton to learn more.

Books

9 months after Stacey died, we published her poetry journal. I titled it “I Am A Rose”. 7 years after her death, I wrote about my completion of her unfinished climb up 17,500 ft. high Mt. Ixta in Mexico.  

 My book is titled, “No Mountain Too High: A father’s inspiring journey through grief.”

On August 30, 1995 , 18-year-old Torontonian Stacey Levitt, out jogging after her shift as a lifeguard, was struck and killed by a car. Her death caused an outpouring of grief not just among family and friends but in a larger community shocked by the tragic loss, so early, of such a beautiful life. She was a superior dancer and athlete, a top student, and a friend to many.

And she was a gifted poet. From the age of eight, Stacey demonstrated an extraordinary ability to capture in words the beauty and wonder of her world. She kept a journal of her favourite poems, which served to comfort her family and friends in their time of sorrow.

Stacey’s parents, Ned and Cheryl, published I Am a Rose, a collection of her poetry, shortly after her death. Now, people coast to coast can share in beautiful poems that have moved thousands of people to tears, brought comfort to countless hurting souls, and made everyone who has read them reflect on the meaning of life. This book of poems served as an inspiration for the television documentary, I Am a Rose, which filmed her father’s arduous completion of Stacey’s climb up Mt. Ixta in Mexico, which had been cut short for her by a storm.

The poetry collection, and Stacey’s story, has become known by climbers from around the world as they read her work at a memorial set up for her before the last ascent up the mountain.

For 48 years, Ned Levitt led a charmed life. He was a partner in a successful law firm, and he and his wife, Cheryl, were the parents of three beautiful and talented daughters who shared their enthusiasm for sports, creative expression, and cottage life. Then, on August 30, 1995 , an event shook Ned to his foundations, threatening the stability of his family, his career, and his own mental health. Stepping off a curb to cross the street while out for a jog, his beautiful 18-year-old daughter, Stacey, was hit and killed by a car.

Ned recounts the traumatic shock, the surreal experiences of identifying his daughter’s body, attending her funeral, and sitting Shiva for her, and then the awful awakening into the unrelenting reality of grief: How can I live the rest of my life without my daughter?

Emerging from a year filled with thoughts of suicide, Ned began a journey of survival, healing, and redemption. After he and his wife published Stacey’s poetry, he began to reach out to other bereaved parents. And he travelled to Mexico to complete Stacey’s unfinished climb up Mt. Ixta , where he left a memorial to her: a box containing a copy of her poetry book and note paper and pens, leading to thousands of notes and letters from mountain climbers and others inspired by her life.

No Mountain Too High tells the story of who Stacey was, the special bond of love between Ned and her, the horrible pain he experienced in losing her, and the struggle to survive and find meaning again in life. It will serve to inspire others to find a path through their problems, appreciating that life is precious, to be lived to its fullest, with every moment savoured.

NED LEVITT, a leading Toronto lawyer who has published many books and articles in his field, is a frequent speaker for bereavement groups and on television and radio. His climb up Mt. Ixta was the subject of a TV documentary, I Am a Rose , which was jointly funded and aired on CBC TV and Vision TV. He is an active member of the Steering Committee for Bereaved Jewish Families of Ontario.

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