Obituary for Jean S. Livingston

Versions of this obituary will be published in Seattle, Pasadena and Northern California…

Jean Louise (Swarts) Livingston passed away Friday, July 10, 2009, at her home in Danville, Calif. following a long illness. She was 86 years old. The daughter of Charles E. and Louise (Friedman) Swarts, she was born January 23, 1923 in Chicago and was raised in Winnetka, IL. She attended New Trier Township High School, graduating in 1940, and also attended Carlton College in Minnesota.

She was a secretary for the Army Air Corps (later Air Force) during World War II and also worked for Walter E Heller Corporation and North Shore Congregation Israel.

She married Irvin (“Bud”) Livingston, Jr., July 19, 1947, and they had two sons, Thomas and John. The family moved from Chicago to Morton Grove, IL., Sylvania, Ohio and Arcadia, Calif. Jean became active in of the League of Women voters while in Ohio, and remained active in that organization as well as the rest of her community after moving to California.

She served as president of the Friends of the Arcadia Public Library, was a member of the Library Board, and was also active in the PTA and worked with her husband to establish the Arcadia Volunteer Service Organization, which put community resources into the schoolrooms. She was named Citizen of the Year in 1976. After the two children had grown up and left the household, the Livingstons moved north to Danville in 1980.

She loved playing piano and in her youth, sang swing jazz. Jean also loved playing bridge with her friends in Sylvania, Arcadia and Danville.

She was preceded in death by her mother in 1967; her father in 1973; and her husband in 1995. She is survived by her brother, Dr. Charles L. Swarts of Westminster, IL.; sons Tom Livingston of Jenkintown, PA (wife Maxine Waber), a children’s magazine editor and John Livingston of Mercer Island, WA (wife Andi Neuwirth), a desktop publishing specialist and former free lance writer and web uploader for Pacific Publishing; along with five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

A private service of remembrance was held Sunday, July 12 at the family home and an evening memorial service was planned Wednesday, July 15 at
Congregation Herzl ner Tamid on Mercer Island.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a foundation seeking to find a cure for childhood cancer.