In Loving Memory of Thomas Livingston

Friday, January 27, 2017 12:36pm

From our friends at the American Decorative Arts Forum:

Thomas Livingston, debonair gentleman and scholar, passed away comfortably on Tuesday morning, January 24. Tom passionately loved the decorative arts. He enthusiastically shared his knowledge with visitors to his antiques shop on Jackson Square and later, his Berkeley store, the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show and his home, as well as the friends he saw at auction previews, the Alameda Point Antiques Faire and the Hillsborough Show. Tom was generous with assessments of the aesthetic merits and social context of the paintings, furniture, lighting, brass, glass, ceramics and textiles which he loved. He was also a founder, and ardent supporter, of the American Decorative Arts Forum.

Tom’s love of the arts also encompassed music. He was a skilled pianist and delighted in sharing music.

In 1961, Tom taught English and French in the Itasca, Illinois public schools when he responded to President Kennedy’s call for volunteers dedicated to serving their country and the cause of peace by living and working in the developing world. He was the first Peace Corps volunteer to receive an experimental, overseas assignment, teaching English in Ghana. His success as the prototypical Peace Corps volunteer paved the way for subsequent generations of dedicated volunteers.

The 25-year old Tom wrote home in 1962:

The whole world is looking at us and we must make a success of this project … This is foreign aid that is intensely personal, the people identify it with a living representative from America, rather than with some nebulous conception about that “mammoth Country Across the Sea.”

Tom’s generosity, kindness and good humor will be missed by those who loved him. In the words of one of his many long-time friends, “Tom showed us what it meant to be a gentleman.”

Service for Tom will be on Wednesday, February 1 at 1 p.m.
Chapel of the Chimes
4499 Piedmont Ave,
Oakland 94611

Reception to follow at 2 p.m.