William G. Livingston, a long term resident of Corona del Mar since 1954, passed away peacefully with immediate family present on May 26, 2011, at the age of 93.
Bill was born on April 20, 1918, in Bloomington, Illinois, where his family had settled since the early 1860's. Their "Livingston's Dry Goods" store ultimately grew to become "Livingston's Department Store", which by the late 1920's was one of the largest family owned department stores south of Chicago.
Bill was an exceptional student, and after skipping a grade, he entered the University of Michigan age the age of 17 to study business. However, after only a year at Michigan, Bill's father passed away, and Bill decided to continue his studies in California at Stanford University. At Stanford, Bill thrived as a student and became President of the
El Campo eating club while graduating Magna Cum Laude in Economics in 1939. His love for the Cardinal (then called the "Indians") continued to his last days, and you could often see the Cardinal flag flying proudly from his home during football season, and if you listened very closely, "Come Join the Band" playing from within.
After college, Bill traveled extensively throughout Cuba and South America, then enrolled in Executive Training at Macy's in NYC with the thought of taking over management of then family owned department store. However, those ambitions were interrupted by the start of WWII where Bill then enlisted in Officer's Training at Cambridge, Mass to become a Supply Officer. After graduating near the top of his class, Bill was assigned duty as a Supply Officer for a new class of ship called an LST (landing ship tank) and was sent to the Pacific theatre headquartered at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
During WWII Bill participated in two major invasions (the Marshall and Gilbert Islands), and was promoted to 1st Lt. in command of supplies for a full flotilla of LST's. During the war Bill met the "love of his life", a beautiful 1st Lt. Army nurse, Julia Flanagan, who was from Fairbury, Illinois. The two fell in love, and married shortly after the end of the war in 1945. Bill and Judy moved from Illinois a few years after the war when part ownership of Livingston's was sold, and they commenced residence in San Marino in 1951 with two young infants, Janet, then age 4, and Bill, then age 2. Bill, after answering an ad in the LA Times for "account men for retail brokerage business", commenced to work as an "Account Executive" with the then Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Bean in downtown Los Angeles in 1952. This job launched a very successful career with the nation's largest financial service business. Bill ultimately became one of their largest producing financial advisors on the West Coast, and one of the top 50 in the nation. He was rewarded for his efforts by becoming one of the first members of the then very prestigious "Merrill Lynch Chairman's Club" and a partner in the firm. Merrill Lynch went public in 1971. Bill served on Merrill's Advisory Panel to Management for many years and was a member of the Chairman's Club for his entire career. Bill retired in 1986 after serving thousands of clients as their financial adviser at Merrill Lynch for over 34 years. His son, Bill J. Livingston, joined his practice in 1982, and has continued on with his legacy at Merrill Lynch through the present at their offices in Newport Beach.
Bill and his family moved from San Marino to Corona del Mar in 1954 after purchasing one of the new homes in the "old" Irvine Terrace as was then developed by the Maco Corporation. With cattle grazing across the street, which is now the location of Fashion Island, and PCH and MacArthur Blvd both being two lane roads, Bill and his family enjoyed an idyllic lifestyle in the "old" Newport Beach. Bill continued to commute to downtown Los Angles to work until 1974 when he moved his business to Newport Beach. Bill continued to serve his clients at that location until his retirement in 1986.
With more leisure time on his hands rather than commuting on the freeways each day to work, Bill was able to take up a serious hobby and it became golf. Bill joined Santa Ana Country Club and became enmeshed in the game, which later became his favorite passion. At SACC he served as their Vice President and Member of their Board of Directors. He then later served a 25 plus year stint as their "Rules and Handicap" Chairman. His love of the game, which never transmuted into a great game of golf (Bill was historically at 14-16 handicapper), was unquestionable, and each round of golf started with the assertion that "this is the new Bill ". He started the "Livingston Group" which teed off every Saturday and Sunday at 8:00AM, and which was open to anyone willing to "throw the balls up" and mix up playing with anyone willing to bet $2.00 on the outcome of their game. The group got so popular that at one time 35 plus members played in it each weekend and up to nine different foursomes. This tradition lasted for well over 25 years.
Bill's travels throughout the years with his golfing buddies to some of the best golfing resorts throughout the United States were legend, and one can only venture a guess as to what he is now doing today with the same group of friends who pre-deceased him. We all know however that whatever it is, he is truly having a wonderful time. Bill also served for many years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern California Golf Association (SCGA), an honor that he truly treasured.
Bill and Judy traveled extensively throughout the world and thoroughly enjoyed the places they visited and their time spent together. They also traveled throughout the United States with their children Janet and Bill, with each and every summer being something "special" from New York, to Chicago, or the Grand Tetons, it was always an adventure.
Bill was also active within Our Lady Queen of Angels church in Newport Beach, and the Irvine Terrace Community Association, serving as a Director for many years.
Bill's wife of 54 years, Judy, passed away in 1999. Bill is survived by his son Bill J, Livingston; his daughter Janet F. Beal; his granddaughters Jacqueline Livingston Hoshek and Julia Livingston; Jeanette M. Storey; and his great grandchildren, Elliot A. Story; William C. Hoshek; and Lauren Avery Hoshek.