Colonel Otis W. Livingston, Jr. (“Otie” and “Hoot”), United States Army Retired, died on May 10, 2023 at the Hospice House of the Carolina Foothills in Forest City, North Carolina.
A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Colonel Livingston was the son of the late Otis W. and Alma P. Livingston. Colonel Livingston attended public schools in Columbia and later graduated from Clemson University where he was designated a distinguished military graduate. Upon graduation in 1952, he was awarded a commission in the regular Army.
During his long and distinguished career as an Airborne/Ranger, Colonel Livingston participated in combat operations in Korea and Vietnam and served in various assignments in the United States and overseas.
His many decorations for valor and meritorious achievements include the Silver Star, which is the nation’s third highest award for valor, The Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, The Bronze Star for valor with Oak Leaf Cluster, The Meritorious Service Medal, six awards of The Air Medal, two awards of The Army Commendation Medal, two awards of The Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, two awards of The Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and numerous other campaign awards and decorations. Colonel Livingston was an Army Ranger and Senior Parachutist.
Following his career in the Army, Colonel Livingston was employed for several years in Columbia and while there, earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Fort Jackson Campus of Pepperdine University. He was subsequently selected as the executive director of the Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority in Florence, SC. He remained in that position for eighteen years.
During his employment as director, he developed the PDRTA from a small demonstration program into one of the largest rural and most successful community transportation entities in the nation. For his achievements he was recognized with numerous local, state, and national awards.
Colonel Livingston was instrumental in establishing the Transportation Association of South Carolina and served as its president several times. He was on the board of directors of the Community Transportation Association of America and, with a national reputation for his expertise in the management and marketing of public transportation, he was often called upon to present seminars and instruction on these subjects. For his work in public transportation and upon his retirement, he was awarded special recognition by the state of South Carolina.
After retiring in 1994, he assisted his beloved wife, Elizabeth, in the management of her gift shop in Saluda, NC. Following her death in 1997, Colonel Livingston remained in Saluda. In 1999, he married Nancy Upham Raymo of St. Petersburg, Florida and they established residence near Tryon, NC.
Colonel Livingston was a certified Master Gardener and a lifetime member of Richland Lodge #39 AFM. As a member of the Rotary Club of Tryon, Colonel Livingston served as one of its directors. He was a lifetime member of the Military Officers Association of America and served several years as president of the local chapter. He was also a lifetime member of the 101ST Airborne Division Association and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In addition, he was a member of the 82D AirborneDivision Association, The American Legion, The Disabled Veterans of America, The Sons of the American Revolution, and several other military related organizations. He served on the board of The House of Flags Museum in Columbus, NC and was a member of the “Eagles,” an informal, local association of retired Army and Marine Colonels and Navy Captains.
He also served for several years on the Polk County NC transportations advisory committee. He was instrumental in organizing the Patriots Salute to Veterans Association, which planned and conducted the first Veterans Day Parade held in Polk County, NC, his home county. He was a recipient of the Second Wind Hall of Fame Award in recognition of continuing voluntary work with numerous community organizations.
Colonel Livingston took great pride in having graduated from Clemson University and was an enthusiastic fan of the university’s athletic programs. He served on a committee to preserve the tradition of the Clemson Senior Drill Platoon and helped raise funds for the establishment of the military heritage plaza at the university.
Colonel Livingston enjoyed his volunteer work, gardening, wood working, oil painting, music, military history, and travel abroad.
Colonel Livingston is survived by his beloved wife, Nancy, and his four children from his first marriage: Frances E. (Beth) Livingston of Durham, NC, Robert B. Livingston of San Francisco, CA, Caroline (Carrie) Grayson of Atlanta, GA and Otis W. (Wit) Livingston III of Eustice, FL. He had five grandchildren: Patrick and Camilla Grayson of Atlanta, GA, Elizabeth Joy Livingston of Augusta, GA, Hayden Bruce (Livingston) Watson of Houston, TX and Seth Leander Livingston of Fulton, MO. He had one great granddaughter, of Augusta, GA.
Colonel Livingston is also survived by three beloved stepchildren and five step grandchildren all of whom he loved as his own.
A long-time Presbyterian, several years ago Colonel Livingston joined the Episcopal Church and attended services at the Episcopal Church of The Transfiguration in Saluda, NC.
A memorial service with military honors will take place at The Episcopal Church of The Transfiguration in Saluda, NC at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, May 15, 2023 with Reverend Chip Broadfoot officiating. The family will receive friends following the service in the Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested that memorials be made to the charity of one’s choice or to one of the following: Rotary Club of Tryon Foundation, PO BOX 122, Tryon, NC 28782 or to The Wounded Warrior Project https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/donate
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