Delphine Livingston
September 24 1924 - November 06 2016 - Age 92

Delphine (Meister) Livingston passed away peacefully on November 6, 2016 at the age of 92. She was born on September 24, 1924 in Grizzly Bluff near Ferndale, CA. Her parents, Oscar and Thekla Meister, were immigrants from Switzerland and Austria. They owned a small ranch raising chickens and selling eggs to neighbors. She attended Grizzly Bluff Elementary School. At the age of 12, Delphine recalled driving her father’s truck to deliver chickens to Arcata.

After graduating from Ferndale High School, she studied clerical work at Merritt College in Oakland. On a bus ride back home, she met Gene Livingston from Scotia. Her children enjoyed hearing her story about that bus ride. According to Delphine, the bus stopped at William’s Grove for a rest period. Gene asked her to go for a walk in the redwood grove and the rest was history! They were married for 19 years and had eight children. Gene became a fireman with the City of Eureka but died at the young age of 44. Delphine carried on, building the foundation of love, faith, education, independence, and self-reliance that she instilled in all her children and has sustained them throughout their lives. She worked hard to provide her children with a good Catholic upbringing, being very active in St. Bernard’s Parish and the Amer. Assn. for Retarded Children. Even though Delphine and her family were then living in Eureka, they spent many Sunday afternoons visiting her sister, Anna Godinho, and Anna’s family in Ferndale. Anna also had 8 children and they lived on a lovely dairy ranch. All of the children loved spending time together playing on the Godinho farm. In 1974, when her son Paul was 9 years old, she made the difficult decision to place him in a foster home for children with special needs. She then moved her family to Petaluma to be near Paul and live in a climate with “lots of sunshine”. In Petaluma, she established a new life for her family, becoming active in St. James Parish. In her 50’s and 60’s Delphine began taking ballroom dance classes. She would gather her friends and drive them to the tea dances in Oakland. It was at a dance where she met her long-time companion Terry Warford. Together they enjoyed traveling to many places including Calcutta, India where she visited Mother Theresa’s hospital for the poor. Delphine remained independent and she enjoyed daily walking, taking road trips with her son Paul to see her other children, gardening, flower arranging and baking. She became known for her beautiful California poppy garden, English toffee, and a fresh batch of carrot salad in the refrigerator. Delphine was a truly Christian woman who donated her later years to charity. She especially liked volunteering at the Petaluma Hospice’s “Sax Thrift Avenue”. Often, she took pride in wearing her designer “thrift store” jeans she bought for just $3.00! She also continued participating in annual family reunions, camping well into her 80’s. When she was 86 she moved into Sunrise Assisted Living. She enjoyed socializing with the residents and staff. You could often find her offering free back scratches, sweeping up after dinner, or assisting in flower arranging classes.

Delphine was preceded in death by her husband Gene, sons Paul and Robert, and her siblings Anna (Meister)Godinho, Josephine(Meister) Pelkoffer, and Oscar Meister. She is survived by her children Jeanette Livingston (Ajijic, Mexico), John Livingston(Redding, CA), George Livingston (Petaluma, CA), Mark Livington (Redding, CA), Mary Livingston Carbrey( Rancho Murieta, CA) and David Livingston (Petaluma, CA). Delphine is also survived by 8 grandchildren, (Robin, Lori, Cody, Kristin, Jesse, Katie, Brian and Grant) and 12 great grandchildren, (Santiago, Soliana, Garrett, Taylor, Dylann, Ryanne, Diego, Finn, Gracie,Lilly, Zoe,and Phoebe).

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Sunrise for the loving care they gave Delphine over the past 3 years. A Catholic mass at St. James Parish in Petaluma will be held Saturday, November 19 at 12:00 noon, followed by a reception at the church.

Petaluma, CA (current)
Ferndale, CA (birthplace)

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