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'Cookie Man,' father of 8, killed a year after his son was gunned down

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 9/19/2018 Anna Spoerre
a man in a red shirt © Family photo

A father of eight known as the "Cookie Man" because of his "sweet" nature was shot and killed on Chicago's South Side Monday night, a year after his son and namesake was gunned down.

"He was a good father," said his wife Kendell Averhart, who broke the news to the children Tuesday morning. "He loved his kids and they loved him."

Levon Averhart, 42, was shot by two men who approached him just before midnight in the 5700 block of South Winchester in West Englewood, near his aunt's home, according to family and Chicago police. He was taken to the University of Chicago Hospital with a wound to the abdomen and was pronounced dead.

Police reported no arrests.

In August of last year, Averhart's 23-year-old son Levon Averhart Jr. was shot and killed by someone in a black car in Uptown.

"That was his junior," Kendell Averhart, 40, said. The two were best friends, and the elder Averhart loved playing basketball and doing "man stuff" with his son.

In the year after his son's death, the elder Averhart spent more time with his three other children and four stepchildren, Averhart said. "He taught my kids everything they know," she said.

He would help them with their homework when he came home from his job remodeling houses, she said. The two have three girls together between 2 and 7.

"Life is what you make it," Averhart recalled Levon telling the older children. "If you want something, you have to go work for it. Nothing is free."

Losing his son wasn't the first time Averhart's life had been scarred by violence. In 2000, his brother Gary Averhart was fatally shot, according to his family.

"People are dealing with this every day," said Kelly Spencer, 45, Averhart's sister-in-law. "But unfortunately today, it had to be our family."

aspoerre@chicagotribune.com

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