Well-known twin Dayton businessmen die nearly a month apart

Credit: Daniel Feldkamp/Visual Edge

Credit: Daniel Feldkamp/Visual Edge

A longtime Dayton-area businessman whose twin brother — his “womb mate” — died in December has died just over a month later.

Lou Levin, 98, died Feb. 5 at Kettering Health, a little more than a month after his twin brother, Al Levin died on Dec. 23.

He was a World War II veteran, who fought at the Battle of Okinawa with his twin brother. When he returned to Dayton, he started Levin Service Company with his brother Sam and his twin, Al.

Levin Service Company ran multiple iconic restaurants, movie theaters and flea markets, including the Dixie Drive-In, which is still operated by the company, Kon-TIki Theater on Salem Avenue, the Rhino Restaurant in downtown Dayton, Caesers Creek Flea Market and Treasure Aisles Market. The company owned more than 17 movie theaters at one point.

The brothers also ran the Levin Family Foundation, founded after their brother, Sam Levin, died. The foundation focuses on alleviating hunger, homelessness and other basic needs in the Dayton region.

Services were held for Lou Levin on Thursday. The family is asking that any donations be made to the Dayton Food Bank in Lou Levin’s honor.

Lou Levin’s son, Ryan Levin, the current owner of Levin Service Company, said his dad was a little more outdoorsy than his brother and loved to travel. He remembered a ski trip he took in high school with his dad to the Alps.

“I actually thought we were rather broke until I was 16 and he took me on this very lavish ski trip,” Ryan Levin said.

One of Ryan Levin’s favorite memories of both his dad and his uncle was in 2017, when he was able to take them to an Honor Flight in Washington, D.C.

Both Al and Lou Levin were some of the oldest veterans at the event, Ryan Levin said, but they were able to walk on their own and go up several sets of stairs.

“When you get both of your boys, they’re being recognized like that, that was amazing,” Ryan Levin said. “I was so esteemed to be able to participate in that with them.”

The two brothers were very humble about their service during the flight, Ryan Levin said.

“They both couldn’t understand what the big deal was,” Ryan Levin said.

Ryan Levin told a family story about his uncle and dad. When they got off the ship in Okinawa, the two brothers had to dive under a Jeep to avoid gunfire.

“He said, ‘Al, I think those guys mean to kill us’,” Ryan Levin said.

He said the war experience was so devoid of anything the two had ever experienced before in their lives.

Ryan Levin said his family anticipated that Lou Levin might pass away soon after his twin brother.

“He missed his brother, and they’re together now,” he said.

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