Dr. I. Harold Chevlen passed away on March 15, 2021, at his home in Youngstown. His patients knew him for his compassion and wisdom; his family knew him for his unconditional love; and all knew him for his sense of humor. Less known, perhaps, was the steadfast courage with which he bore the infirmities of advanced age.
He was born on October 28, 1921, the older son of immigrants Louis and Anna Minninberg Chevlen. After graduating from South High School, he attended night classes at Youngstown College, working during the day as a millwright helper at Republic Steel. In August 1942 he was drafted into the Army. He related how, in order to make sure that, despite his nearsightedness, he would pass the induction physical exam, he “cheated” on his vision test by memorizing the letters on the chart when the doctor wasn’t looking.
As the War continued, the Army anticipated the need for more engineers. Harold volunteered for such training at Muskingum College. Later, the Army anticipated the need for more physicians, and Harold eagerly switched to the pre-med program at St. Louis University. After he graduated from there, the Army sent him for medical training at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated at the top of his class in 1948.
Harold practiced medicine in Youngstown for 44 years. He was among the first physicians to become board certified in Family Practice, and served as chairman of the Family Practice Department at Youngstown Hospital.
He married his childhood sweetheart, “the ever lovely” Helen Aron, in 1945. Their marriage of nearly 69 years was a tribute to their affection, mutual support, and respect. Together they enjoyed adventures around the globe, visiting every continent except Antarctica. Harold was a prize-winning photographer of their many travels.
For many years, Harold was a member of the Kiwanis Club. He was also active in Jewish community affairs. He was a life-long member first of Temple Emanuel, and later its successor congregation, El-Emeth.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his brother Earl Chevlen and his wife Beverly, his nephew Curtis Chevlen, his grandson Louis Chevlen, and his daughter-in-law Fran Chevlen. To cherish his memory, he leaves behind his children Jack of San Jose, CA; Eric (Laurel) of Youngstown; Michael (Lauren) of Napa, CA; and Betsy (Michael) Murray of Burlingame, CA; and his nephew Alden Chevlen (Kathy) of Youngstown. His dear grandchildren who will mourn his loss are Dove (John) Butler, Tamara Chevlen, Jacob Chevlen, Dorie Chevlen, Abe Chevlen, Benjamin (Kate) Chevlen, Matthew Chevlen, Andrew Murray, and Amanda Murray. His young great-grandchildren, who will come to learn of their honorable ancestry, are Everett and Orion Chevlen.
Of his many brothers- and sisters-in-law, he is survived only by sister-in-law Sonja Schwartz and brothers-in-law Marvin Schwartz and Walter Malkin. Harold’s many nieces and nephews by marriage recognized him as patriarch of a large extended family. His autobiography, Lucky Pierre, is a compelling read of a life well-lived by a man greatly loved. It is available at www.blurb.com.
Funeral service will be at 2 PM, Today, March 17th at the Children of Israel Cemetery Chapel and interment will be at the Anshe Emeth Cemetery on Granada Avenue.
The family requests that flowers not be sent. Material expressions of sympathy may be made as a donation to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
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