David Levin – A True Ballooning Enthusiast – Passes Away at 68

Editorial StaffHot Air Ballooning, News0 Comments

David and Roberta Levin Photo Credit: Boulder Jewish News

David Levin was a man of many talents and passions. He passed away on Saturday from pancreatic cancer in his home in Boulder, Colorado at the age of 68 years old.

Levin did not live your average or conventional life. Born in Newark, New Jersey, he matriculated through his life excelling academically and secured a degree in business administration and law as well as a Master’s degree in taxation and estate planning from Boston University. However, after working in estate planning for years, he eventually began to realize that that was not the ideal career path for him. He was unsure exactly what he wanted to do, but he knew it was not estate planning. It actually was when a buddy came to him about beginning a hot air balloon ranch in San Luis Valley that Levin started to formulate an idea for what he wanted to do and specifically, how he wanted to do it. It was soon after that The Balloon Ranch, America’s only resort that specialized in hot air ballooning, was brought into fruition. Once David realized that the pilots were the highest paid employees, he instantly felt inspired to obtain his piloting license as well.

It would have never been thought of that David Levin would go on to be one of the most celebrated and well known men associated with hot air ballooning. David competed for over 25 years and overtime, his popularity grew drastically. Indeed, it was his winning of competitions internationally that aided in him becoming a competition director for the sport.

Ballooning continued to be one of David’s passions even long after he completed his time as a director of the sport. He even began to donate rides to not-for-profit organizations. His interest in aviation continued to blossom over time and he even picked up paragliding as an active hobby. He began to fly over areas such as north Boulder, Santa Barbara, Chamonix and Alsace, including a myriad of other areas. He also began toying with a motorized hang glider.

David also thoroughly enjoyed skiing. The more snow he could be in, the better for David and it was nothing he enjoyed more than being in the snow. The 2015-2016 season David actually scored a record breaking 70 days on the mountain. Within the past 20 years, David was really able to apply his new found passion of skiing to his ability to teach and he became a volunteer instructor with Ignite Adaptive Sports which was previously recognized as the Eldora Special Recreation Program (ESRP). It was here that David was able to teach adults and children with both mental and physical disabilities. He was so engrossed in the service that he became a board member as well as recently received their Lifetime Achievement Award for his commendable service which was a first time ever award.

Although he was not Jewish, he was very dedicated to the Boulder Jewish Community and also was very instrumental in the building of the Boulder Jewish Community Center. Him and his wife Roberta co-chaired the building committee and were able to again, bring another dream into fruition.

His wife Roberta and his two children Matthew and Becca were adored by David. He also has his sister Susan and his brother Alan as well as nieces and nephews. His kind spirit and passion for adventure will continue to be admired and inspired. His celebration will take place on Thursday, May 18 at 5:45 p.m. It will be held at the Boulder Jewish Community Center that David and his wife assisted in building.

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