Roger John Levings, Age :56

Feb 04,1963---Mar 08,2019

Roger J. Levings, 56, passed away March 8, 2019. A celebration of his life will be 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, March 14 at SEIU Local #1 Union Hall, 4526 The Paseo, Kansas City, Mo.  Mass will be held in Roger’s name at 9:00 a.m., Thursday, March 14 at St. Mark’s in Independence, Mo.


In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to Operation Littlerless, a spay and neuter program that supports individuals who are called to help with the Independence feral feline crisis. Checks/donations can be made out to the City of Independence, Operation Litterless In Memory of Roger J. Levings. Address: City of Independence Animal Services, PO Box 1019, Independence, Mo. 64051, Attn. Sheryl Hill. 


Roger was born February 4, 1963, the son of John George and Alia (Khoury) Levings, in Brooklyn, N.Y. His father’s work took the family to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where Roger lived and attended the Parents Cooperative School (PCS) until he came to the U.S. to attend high school in Atchison, Kan. Roger graduated Class of 1981 at Maur Hill Prep. He played football as a Maur Hill Raven, became part of a tight-knit extended family and worked summers at Camp Saint Maur. After high school, he served in the United States Army. Following his military service, he worked as a Corrections Officer at Jackson County Correctional Facility until he began working for The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees(AFSCME) as a Business Representative. 


Professionally, Roger left a lasting impact and legacy for workers’ rights. He had a brilliant legal mind that he put to work tirelessly for those in need. Like many in the labor movement, he worked around the clock in support of a cause he believed in deeply. He was known for his quiet acts of generosity, often leaving a $100 tip for a hard-working waitress. Roger made a difference for workers – one of his colleagues recently said, “Roger will never be gone. Every time we talk to a worker who is scared or worn down, every time a we talk to an activist or have a chance to inspire them to stand up to make their workplace better, every time a worker asks if their boss can really do what they did, we can all honor Roger by remembering what he told me: ‘They can do whatever they want, until you make them stop.’” 


Personally, Roger was a complex, caring and kind individual that left an indelible imprint on anyone who was fortunate enough to know him. He was funny, so funny. He was sneaky and playful.  He redefined generosity in a way that few could comprehend. His special brand of encouragement could, and did, change lives – Roger knew how to embrace that deep hurting part of someone’s soul. He was gentle and sensitive. His strength and broad shoulders took on the world’s problems without wavering. Animals responded to him in a very special Dr. Doolittle sort of way, and he reserved a place in his heart exclusively for God’s creatures. Most every night he looked to stars, he loved astronomy, space exploration and science fiction. His phone alerted him to the International Space Station flyoversand he would drag his friends out in bitter cold temps just to watch with awe that little white dot race across the sky. He nowhas a pain-free front-row view to all the things he loved the most, including all of us - his people and creatures. 


Roger is preceded in death by his mother, Alia. He is survived by his father, John George Levings and John’s wife, Dottie; brother, Richard Levings and wife Erlene and their children Amanda, Chris, Keith, Welsh and Whennie; brother, Randy Levings and his daughter Christiana; sister, Desiree Levings and her daughter Leticia; his close friend Susan Barkulis and hislive-in companion Mary Nell Westbrook.  (Condolences may be expressed at: Arrangements: Porter Funeral Homes & Crematory, 8535 Monrovia, Lenexa, KS (913) 438-6444.)

Additional Service:
Celebration of Life
SEIU Local #1 Union Hall
4526 The Paseo
Kansas City
Zip Code:
Date of Service:
Mar 14 ,2019
Time of Service:
5:30 PM
Additional Information:

At the 9:00 AM daily mass at St. Mark Catholic Church on Thursday, Roger’s name will be recognized by the priest.  

Google Map:


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