AUBURN — Leonard N. Plavin, a prominent Lewiston merchant for more than 50 years, died at the Hospice House, Thursday, April 15.
A son of Abraham and Ethel Plavin, he was born in Lewiston in 1927. After graduating from Governor Dummer Academy in Byfield, Mass., he attended the University of Maine at Orono, majoring in economics. He threw the hammer for the track team, played football, and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 1948.
Upon graduation, he went to work for New England Furniture Co., Maine’s largest home furnishers. Founded by his father, New England Furniture had stores in six Maine cities, with the headquarters in Lewiston. He and his brother, Manuel, ran the company together for 40 years. The two of them also started a contract furniture business, NEFCO Contract Distributors, which remained active until 2004.
He had a lifelong passion for architecture, skiing, golf and photography. He was a vibrant member of the Bates College community, where his wife, Marcy, directed the dance program for 40 years. During Marcy’s tenure, he took more than 10,000 pictures of the Bates College Modern Dance Co.
He was active in the University of Maine Alumni Council and executive committee. He served as president of the Lewiston-Auburn Jewish Federation, sat on the board of directors for the City of Lewiston Arts Commission, L/A Arts, and Holocaust Human Rights of Maine. He was a member of the board at the University of Maine Farmington, a member of the dance panel for National Endowment of the Arts and served on the committee for a medical school for Maine. He also served as president/chairman of the board of Beth Jacob Synagogue and president of Martindale Country Club.
Along with his wife of 56 years, Marcy, he is survived by his brother, Manuel; sister, Shirley; children, David, Lynda and Stephen; and five grandsons.