Bernice Lavin, wife of Glen Hill Farm owner Leonard Lavin, died Oct. 29 at her home in the northern Chicago community of Glencoe after a lengthy illness. She was 81.
Glen Hill, founded by Leonard Lavin and located near Ocala, Fla., has bred and raced numerous stakes winners starting in the late 1960s. One of the early ones was the top filly Convenience, who won a celebrated $250,000 match race by a head over Typecast at Hollywood Park in 1972. Another of the good ones, homebred One Dreamer, upset the 1994 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at 47-1.
The latter race was particularly satisfying because the race was sponsored by Alberto VO5. Years earlier, the Lavins co-founded the beauty care firm Alberto-Culver Co.
While her husband served as chairman of Alberto-Culver, Bernice Lavin filled several top spots herself. Her roles included vice president and director.
The Lavins contributed to numerous Chicago charities. They funded a study of jockey injuries through the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
In addition to her husband, Lavin is survived by two children.