Wendell Lynn Livingston, 80, of Leedey, Oklahoma departed this world January 8, 2012. Wendell was the son of John Ernest and Cora Gladys (White) Livingston and was born August 8, 1931 in Seiling, Oklahoma.
Wendell’s father was a tenant farmer in the Seiling area and also woked for the WPA during the Great Depression while his mother raised two sons, a large garden and chickens. Wendell’s only sibling was an older brothere, Elmer, born in 1921. Two of Wendell’s five uncles lived with them on the farm during this time as jobs were scarce. Wendell’s father passed away unexpectedly in August, 1943 when Wendell was just 12 and Elmer was serving in the Air Force. Unable to maintain the farm, Wendell and his mother moved into Seiling where she washeds dishes in a cafe and when Wendell was old enough, he helped out with any work he was able to find.
Wendell attended grade school in Seiling and graduated from Seiling High School in 1950 where he was a gifted athlete lettering in three sports. He was voted All District Running Back in football in 1950 and placed second in the regional 100 yard dash. He entered the US Army in 1952, serving two years of active duty and eight years in the reserves.
On July 8, 1955 he married Ruth Ann Altand in Woodward, Oklahoma. A daughter, Nancy Ruth and a son, Ernest Eugene were born to the happy union. Over the years, Wendell’s career in drilling test wells in the oil and gas industry carried the family through nine different states. In 1965 the family settled in Garden City, Kansas for the next 28 years and Wendell worked drilling water wells. After retirement in 1993, Wendell and Ruth moved to Russellville, Arkansas for a time. In 2000 they returned to their Oklahoma roots, moving to Leedey. Ruth and Wendell developed many close friendships, and exceptionally strong bond with the Leedey community, and were very active in the Leedey athletic booster organization. They both attended nearly every athletic event, which Wendell continued religiously after Ruth’s passing in 2005. Wendell enjoyed collecting music, dancing, and traveling. He was able to visit Alaska, China twice, and take numberous other trips with his grandchildren and special friends. He always took every opportunity available to spend time with his family and join in all their events.
Wendell is preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Ann; parents, John and Cora Livington; and brother, Elmer Livingston. He is survived by son, Ernest Livingston of Hartford, Kansas and daughter, Nancy Betzen and husband Mike of Wilmington, Delaware; grandchildren, Cora Betzen, Abigail Betzen, Anna (Tabor) Powell, Gretta Betzen and many nephews, nieces, and numerous special friends.
Wendell was a good principled, honest man. He enjoyed working with the young people of Leedey and was always willing to help anyone in need who was willing to be responsible. He was full of vigor, mischievousness, and very proud of his family.
Contributions in memory of Wendell may be made to the Leedey Education Foundation in care of Shaw Funeral Home.
Funeral services ewere held Wednesday, January 11, 2012 in the Leedey School Auditorium, Leedey, Oklahoma under the direction of Shaw Funeral Home. Burial followed in Elmwood Cemetery, Woodward, Oklahoma. Condolen ces may be madde to the family at shswfuneralhome.net
Cheyenne Star, Cheyenne, OK 12JAN2012