chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.


The Procurement Lawyer Spring 2023

Memorial to Herman Levy: Beloved Section Leader, Section Fellow, and Section Friend

John S Pachter


  • Tribute to long-time Public Contract Law Section member Herman Levy
Memorial to Herman Levy: Beloved Section Leader, Section Fellow, and Section Friend

Jump to:

On May 7, 2023, Herman Levy, one of the most loyal members of the Section of Public Contract Law, passed away at the age of 87. Herman was retired from service as an attorney with the United States General Services Administration. Active in the Section since 1991, Herman was a regular attendee at quarterly programs, council meetings, annual meetings, and committee meetings. He served in many capacities, including Associate Editor, Public Contract Law Journal; and Associate Editor and news article contributor, The Procurement Lawyer; Council Member, 2008-2011. He also served as Vice Chair of the following committees: Accounting; Cost & Pricing; Commercial Products & Services; Intellectual Property; Legislative Coordinating; Regulatory Coordinating; and Co-Chair, Research and Development Committee.

In the mid-1990s I was tasked to chair a Working Group to coordinate the comments of the Section on the “FAR 15 Rewrite,” an extensive revision to the rules governing negotiated procurements. Herman joined our small group of volunteers and quickly demonstrated his grasp of the subject. He found relationships between disparate portions of the draft regulations that were apparent to no one else. The result was a substantial contribution to the quality of the Section’s comments. In his quiet and thoughtful way, Herman made similar contributions to other aspects of the Section’s work.

In 2015, the Section Fellows enthusiastically voted to induct Herman into the Fellows in honor of his many years of service.

A graduate of Columbia College (the undergraduate school of Columbia University) and Yale Law School, Herman embraced varied intellectual pursuits, including history, art, and opera. He traveled widely and visited family and friends in the United States and abroad. Herman was especially close to his nieces and nephews. He shared his knowledge and stimulated their curiosity in matters that compelled his attention.

A memorial service for Herman and reception was to be held on July 16 at 10:30 a.m. at Temple Rodef Shalom, 2100 Westmoreland Street, Falls Church, Virginia. Donations may be made to the American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education, the Public Contract Law Education Support Fund, Columbia College Today Support Group, or Yale Law School.

Section Members Remember Herman Levy

Did anyone ever think this day would actually come? Herman was always “old” and yet oddly ageless. I’m not sure the Section will be the same without him.

I first met Herman shortly after I joined the Section and became involved with the Regulatory Coordinating Committee (RCC). Herman came to our offices to meet the team, which was so typically Herman. During my time as Chair of the RCC, I had many emails and calls with Herman. He’d call me to let me know he could not review a set of comments within the first hour of me sending them to him (which I never expected; he was retired after all!) and let me know of the interesting things going on in his life: his yoga class, his class reunions, his family trips, international trips, and historical trips!

Herman never failed to ask about my family at Public Contract Law Section events, and he always remembered interesting details that had amused him about our prior talks. Of course, he was so proud of his family and his beloved grand niece and proudly detailed all the accomplishments of his younger relatives. At one reception, he went through his photo album of his family. It was so sweet.

Herman was sweet and genuine, and perhaps the kindest person in the Section.
—Kara Sacilotto

Herman and I knew each other for decades. He was all of the good things attributed to him. We shared a fondness for a restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia, where we would occasionally find ourselves both having lunch. We would choose to sit together if we could. Each such lunch was a shared treat. A kind and considerate man is always a pleasure to be with, and I will prize the time we were able to spend together.
—Don Gavin

Herman was one of the kindest and sweetest people I knew. In his quiet way he was always there to help people. He sent me clippings of places where I lived and visited or that he visited that he knew I would be interested in. It was always delightful to hear from him. His hard work was recognized by making him a Fellow of the Section. He will be missed.
—Ruth Burg

Herman has been a pillar of the Section of Public Contract Law community since I began practicing nearly a decade ago, and I am deeply saddened to learn of his passing. I will remember Herman as kind, intellectually curious, and engaged in the professional development and personal well-being of those who enjoyed his company. He will be deeply missed by his Section family.
—Sonia Tabriz

Herman Levy was a devoted member of the Section, and a true friend to every Section member he met. He was the first Section member who engaged with me at the very first Section educational program that I attended. He was kind enough to take me under his wing and escort me around the room, introducing me to members of the Section. His memory was amazing. Each time I met him over the next twenty years of ABA programs, he never failed to ask about my children and our two family dogs.
Herman was a fixture of the Section for me and many others. May we all aspire to emulate his kindness to fellow members and his dedication to our Section.
—Annejanette Pickens

Herman was always the utmost professional. Among the best dressed at every event and willing to talk to anyone regardless of their status. His charm and class is much needed at the ABA and will be missed.
—Greg Harding

I always enjoyed being around Herman and seeing him at Section events (he seemed to be at every one). We served together as editors on the Public Contract Law Journal (PCLJ). I remember first meeting him back when I was still in law school, and even as a student, he always made a point to say hello and ask how things were going. One of my favorite memories of Herman was during one of our PCLJ Editor’s meetings; it was a virtual meeting (during the COVID-19 pandemic), and I remember glancing at Herman (on Zoom) … just as he was taking a sip out of a Michelle Obama coffee mug. I don’t know why, but it seemed so very like Herman. He will be greatly missed.
—Collin Swan

As many other members of the Section of Public Contract Law will undoubtedly state, Herman was a true mensch–an absolutely wonderful gentleman. His love and commitment to the Section was unrivaled, and he will be terribly missed. I was honored to have known him and to have worked with him on numerous Section activities, including the Public Contract Law Journal and the Commercial Products and Services Committee. He was truly one of a kind.
—John Howell

I first met Herman in law school on the GW student editorial board of the Public Contract Law Journal. We were always thrilled when we knew Herman was taking first cut on editing an article, as that meant we were really going to get a polished piece to finalize for publication. He was such a welcoming presence and really highlighted for me what a great bar we are all part of. Even as a baby lawyer just getting started with government contracts, Herman was always interested in hearing different perspectives and sharing his insights.
—George Petel

I know that I actually came to unknowingly look forward to seeing Herman’s smiling face at section events, like Federal Procurement Institute (FPI) each year. I was always amazed by how he remembered EVERYONE’s name and greeted each and every person he would run into at the event. I saw it as a challenge to myself to be better about remembering names since he made me feel that I had no excuse given our age difference. This past year I was surprised when he did not make FPI. It actually made me feel there was something missing from the event and I realized I had come to look forward to his kind handshakes.
—Patricia Hale Becker

At every single meeting, Herman would always make a point of finding me and asking about my family. Not only did he make that effort at meetings, but I would periodically get newspaper clippings in the mail when Herman found something about Sacramento or northern California that he thought might particularly interest me. His holiday cards were always a personal photo of a trip he had taken, inviting his friends into his life. Herman was the greatest example of the Section being a family, and he gave pieces of himself to all of us.
—Jennifer L. Dauer