Lev September 2021

Reverend Levering Reynolds III

Reverend Levering Reynolds, III, died peacefully on January 2, 2022 at the age of 81 at his home in St. Charles, Missouri. Lev’s commitment to his family, faith, and community were evident to all who had the privilege to know, love, and learn from him.

Born in Peterborough, New Hampshire, Lev lived in 11 states and travelled to all but one. His love of the outdoors, including hiking and camping, began in childhood as a 9-year-old Cub Scout in Andover, Massachusetts. He was a dedicated Boy Scout for more than 70 years serving in various leadership roles with Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts. Lev worked with scouting at local and national levels in support of inclusivity and outdoor experiences for all. He attended multiple Boy Scout Jamborees to serve as a chaplain.

Lev graduated with a Bachelor of Philosophy from Stanford University in 1962, followed by a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School in 1965 and a Master of Counseling and Development from Texas State University – San Marcos in 1991. Lev continued to learn, research, and teach throughout his life. Countless people have grown in their spirituality, outdoor and safety skills, and general knowledge thanks to Lev.

In 1965, Lev followed his father’s footsteps into ordained ministry through the United Church of Christ. In his nearly 57 years of ordained ministry, Lev served many churches. He primarily served in the role of Interim Minister, helping congregations navigate the process of identifying a permanent pastor. Lev also served in leadership at the Conference level for the United Church of Christ. Lev was a humble and gifted preacher and storyteller. He was able to lead in the spiritual formation of others by providing opportunities for introspection and personal growth.

Lev married Gail McKeen in 1965. Together they raised three sons. After her death in 1997, Lev continued to support Rev. Gail’s commitment to Emmaus Homes, which provides support for adults with developmental disabilities. He most recently served as their Board Chair with his term ending this Fall. His commitment as a volunteer was also evidenced in his more than 20 years as a volunteer with the Red Cross. Lev worked as a local volunteer, was an Instructor Trainer, and deployed to help coordinate the agency’s disaster response several times, including after Hurricane Katrina. Red Cross friends have expressed he trained too many volunteers to count. His work with Emmaus and the Red Cross illustrates his compassion and his commitment to the service of others.

Blessed in marriage in 1998 to Linda Persov Bartels, Lev’s family grew to include two ‘bonus daughters.’

With “empty nest” in sight, Lev encouraged Linda to discern her call to ministry and she earned her Master of Divinity from Eden Seminary in 2002 and was ordained that same year.  Their years together were filled with opportunities to be in ministry together (but apart, with different congregations) in Missouri, Minnesota, and Southern Illinois.  They nurtured their blended family and continued to enjoy time with children and grandchildren around the country, always grateful for the “excuse” to travel.

Family and faith were at Lev’s center. An avid genealogist, researching and recording the family trees of family members related by birth or related by life circumstance was demonstrative of his extended love for all of us. Lev’s participation in the marriages, baptisms, and life celebrations of his children and grandchildren will be forever cherished, as will his dry sense of humor and his unconditional love.

Lev is survived by his wife Linda, their five children Levering Andrew and his wife Tami of Columbia, Missouri; Peter John and his wife Marisol of San Pedro, California; Timothy Earle and his wife Allison of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Kimberly Bartels Fine of St. Charles; and Angela and her husband Bryan Curtis of St. Charles; his thirteen grandchildren Andrea and her husband Joe Waner; Bailey and her husband Charles Larkins; Levering Zachariah, Grace, Ruben, Elsa, Marie, Jacob, Theodore, Desmond, Nathaniel, Eleanor, and Anna; and his two great grandchildren Henry and Luna.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Reverend Dr. Levering Reynolds, Jr. and May Louise Mosher Reynolds, and his wife Gail.

A celebration of Lev’s life is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.

Gifts in his memory may be made to:

Emmaus Homes


3731 Mueller Road

St. Charles, MO 63301


  1. Sr. Barbara McMullen, CDP on January 5, 2022 at 12:31 pm

    I have not known Lev for a long time, but in the time I did know him I experienced a gentle, compassionate, sensitive guy who was always so welcoming and inclusive of others. His humor and dry wit were fun, and his love of exploring new places for lunch, new beers to try, different foods to try, all spoke of his genuine love of life. I feel blessed to have known him through his wife, Linda. My sympathy and prayers for her and all his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I know he will be missed!

  2. Jane Cox on January 5, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    It was always clear to me that Lev was a gift to Linda and her two daughters Kimberly and Angela. What an extraordinary man!

  3. Nelson R Tennis on January 5, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    I am a avid genealogist who first met Lev on the RootsWeb message boards before facebook. We are 7th cousins. He was a pleasure to communicate with on the internet. Rest easy cousin.

  4. Rev. Kayla Bonewell on January 5, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    Sending love and peace to Linda

  5. Bill Hamilton on January 5, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    He was a good friend who will be missed.

  6. Cheryl Winters on January 5, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    Lev was always quick with a witty comment or a corny joke. He was a limitless source of knowledge on a zillion topics. And he was truly a compassionate, empathetic man who lived his faith. The world is a little bit dimmer without him. God speed dear friend. Love to you, Linda.

  7. Erin Middleton on January 5, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    What a lovely tribute to a Man of Providence. Bless his entire family at this time.

  8. Linda Hoefflin on January 5, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    Lev’s compassion and service to others will be missed. May God welcome you with open arms.

  9. Amanda Williams on January 6, 2022 at 6:32 am

    Beautiful, beautiful tribute, and may God continue to give you all strength and peace through this trying time. Love you, Kim.

  10. Rev. Dr. Richard E. Osburn on January 8, 2022 at 1:24 pm

    I’ve had the honor and privilege of know Lev for over 50 years. He was a man of faith and love. He gave compassion and hope to so many people. Lev made a great impact on this world and it was genuinely positive. While we have been separated by distance I have followed his life and career. He was a blessing.

  11. Judy Saeger on January 9, 2022 at 7:39 am

    Dear Linda & family , Please accept my sympathy! Blessings & peace to you. Judy Saeger

  12. Steve Grote on February 9, 2022 at 6:34 pm

    Although I didn’t know Lev well I knew him well enough to see what a kind and caring man he was. I know that he is greatly missed by everyone that knew him.

  13. Bruce and Jeannine Ludwig and Nanette Martin on March 29, 2022 at 10:49 am

    Our deepest sympathy to Lev’s family. We are cousins, even though we never met in person, going back many generations of the Levering and Reynolds families. We always appreciated his very kind, generous, and thoughtful help with our “dead dude” research. Our prayers are with you at this time.

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