Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue | Roy Livingstone

Former POW Roy Livingstone was a model of patriotism

DUNEDIN — The front of Roy Livingstone's home firmly establishes his priorities. An American flag, lit at night, flanks the garage.

Visitors walk over a doormat that announces, "Patriots Welcome."

Inside on Wednesday, his relatives watched Fox News on low and talked about the man who served as an example for many with unwillingness to forget what he had undergone for his country.

If anyone has earned the right to count himself a patriot, it was Mr. Livingstone, who died April 7 at the Bay Pines VA Medical Center. He was 88 and suffered from lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

A prisoner of war for two years in Germany, Mr. Livingstone later served as director of the former Military Ex-Prisoners of War Foundation.

"I went to some of his national meetings," said Korean war veteran Dave Theall. "He was very much appreciated."

As a former sports correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times, Theall also covered the former advertising executive's nearly single-handed efforts to create an association for senior golf players and as publisher of a national magazine for senior golfers.

"Around age 75, he could shoot his own age," Theall said. "Not too many guys can do that."

Roy Edward Livingstone was born in Maine. One Christmas, his father was too impoverished to buy presents for his two boys. So with some embarrassment he built them miniature Morse code transmitters and taught them how to use them.

The knowledge came in handy after April 17, 1943, when Mr. Livingstone, a flight engineer in the Army Air Corps on a B-17 bomber, was shot down over Bremen, Germany, taking a bullet in the leg as he parachuted down. Other than a two-week escape, the soldiers' stay at Stalag-17B was far from pleasant. "He did say, 'It was nothing like Hogan's Heroes,' " said his wife, the former Dorris Holliday.

His knowledge of Morse code helped him communicate with other prisoners and the BBC, his family said. His unit was liberated in May 1945.

Mr. Livingstone moved here in 1976. His first wife, Grayce, died in 1991. In 1999, he met Holliday, the widow of a former POW, at a POW convention. They married in 2000.

She liked his romantic side, but winced when he insisted on doing some Valentine's Day shopping in February, a time he could not breathe without difficulty.

"The valentines he wanted to get had all been picked over," she said.

Just as they were about to leave the store, her husband noticed a piece tucked in a corner — a hollow silver heart, with structural connectors that looked as through they could be pumping blood.

She wears it proudly.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at (727) 892-2248 or ameacham@sptimes.com.

.Biography

Roy Edward Livingstone

Born: Sept. 14, 1922.

Died: April 7, 2011.

Survivors: Wife Dorris; stepson Paul Volpe; stepdaughter Teri Ann Saccardo; sister-in-law Barbara Livingstone; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Service (including military honors): 11 a.m. today;

Moss Feaster Funeral Gardens, Serenity Gardens Chapel, 13401 Indian Rocks Road, Largo.

Former POW Roy Livingstone was a model of patriotism 04/13/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. UPS relocates express operations from St. Pete-Clearwater to TIA

    Airlines

    TAMPA — United Parcel Service Inc. is switching airports for its express air operations. Beginning in October, UPS will relocate from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport.

    Beginning in October, UPS will move from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport. [Associated Press file photo]

  2. St. Petersburg man shot in arm during home invasion robbery

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — One man was arrested on charges he shot another man in the arm while attempting to rob a home in what St. Petersburg police are calling a drug-related incident.

    John Alam, 25, faces charges of home invasion robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon after deputies said he tried to rob a home Wednesday morning and ended up shooting someone. [Courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Bob Buckhorn, a mayor who knows what he wants, surveys constituents on what they want

    Local

    TAMPA — Focus has not been a problem — or really, even a question — during the six-plus years that Mayor Bob Buckhorn has been in office.

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn keeps a digital countdown clock in his office showing the days, hours. minutes and seconds until he is term-limited out of office on April 1, 2019. As of Wednesday, he had 584 days to go. [City of Tampa]
  4. WATCH: Heroic Hooters manager helps two sheriff's deputies subdue unruly customer

    Crime

    BRANDON — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office praised a heroic Hooters Restaurant manager Wednesday for coming to the aid of two deputies struggling to subdue an unruly customer.

    It took two deputies and a Hooter's manager to get control of Ashton B. Toney after he threatened to kill an employee who refused to serve him alcohol at a Hooter's in Brandon, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reported.
[Booking photo from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]