Margaret Ellen Bazler Livingston died peacefully at home in Tyler on Monday, June 30, 2014, a week before her 90th birthday. She was preceded in death by her parents; two older sisters; and her husband of nearly 60 years, William Harold "Tag" Livingston.
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Margaret was born on July 7, 1924, in Columbus, Ohio, to Charles Bruce and Grace Blackwood Bazler. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Vero Beach, Fla., where her father managed the Del Mar Hotel. She graduated from Vero Beach High School, where she was band queen and voted "friendliest" in her senior class. She attended Florida State College for Women (now Florida State University) for one year and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. When her father suddenly passed away after her freshman year, she went to work at the Vero Beach Naval Air Station. In June of 1944, she went on a blind date that would change her life. The young naval aviator, Tag Livingston, was not her date that night, but at the end of the evening he asked his friend, her date, if he would step aside. Tag always said that he fell in love with Margaret because she was the prettiest girl who'd ever laughed at his jokes. Things progressed quickly, and they were married on Sept. 7, 1944.
Margaret exemplified the "perfect Navy wife" as she moved from base to base and coast to coast, raising four daughters, often by herself while Tag was at sea, and creating a loving home wherever they were stationed. Her husband attained the rank of rear admiral, and his final assignment before retirement was as Defense Attaché to the Court of St. James. Margaret relished her time in London, especially the night she was presented to Queen Elizabeth during a diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace. She said she felt like Cinderella as the car entered the gates of the palace!
Margaret and Tag moved to New Orleans upon his retirement from the Navy in 1974, where they both became involved in Republican politics and community life. After 19 years in Louisiana, Tag "retired" for the second time, and they moved to Emerald Bay in Bullard, where they enjoyed their last years together and made many new friends. Tag passed away suddenly on March 10, 2004, and in 2011, Margaret moved to Meadow Lake Retirement Community with her beloved cat, Abigail, who just died on June 20. The night the new Meadow Lake dining room opened Margaret attended the special dinner with her four daughters. She went around the room, stopping at every table to introduce herself and meet her new neighbors - she always remained the "friendliest" in the class!
During her life, Margaret most loved being a Navy wife and mother, and the adventures and travels that she and Tag shared over the years. She enjoyed volunteering, the beach and hot weather, gardening, playing bridge and Scrabble, Sudoku puzzles, big band music, dancing the jitter bug, anything chocolate, and entertaining her friends and family. She was a beloved "Nonnie" to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and will be remembered by all as the gracious and compassionate lady she was. The elegant sense of style, inner beauty and strength, optimism, humor, and faith she demonstrated throughout her life truly define her legacy. While she will be greatly missed, we know she is dancing with Tag to their song, "It Had to Be You!"
She is survived by her four daughters: Margaret Anne Livingston (Ashton) Asensio, Cynthia Ellen Livingston, Katherine Grace Livingston (Charles) Ewing, and Hannah Jane Livingston (Donald) Graham; four grandchildren: Todd Livingston (Rebecca Reidy) Asensio, Anne Derby Asensio (Jason) Marshall, Kelsey Jane Graham (Luke) Erwin and William Tyler Graham; four great-grandchildren: Madison and Spencer Marshall, Maya and Flynn Reidy Asensio; a stepgranddaughter, Brooke Ewing (Alex) Fleming, their two young daughters, Marin and Olivia; and many dear friends and extended family.
The family wishes to acknowledge and thank Misty Morris, Rena Trent and Jessica Ford who provided such loving care to Margaret during the last two years of her life, following a stroke that took her eyesight. The family also is appreciative of The Hospice of East Texas and their many dedicated associates.
A memorial service will be held at Emerald Bay Community Church, Bullard, on Saturday, July 12, at 2 p.m. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of Burks-Walker-Tippit Funeral Directors, Tyler.
In lieu of flowers, donations honoring Margaret may be made to the National Naval Aviation Museum Foundation in Pensacola, Fla., any veteran's support organization, or a
Burks-Walker-Tippit Funeral Directors
215 E. Front St.
Tyler, TX 75702-8123
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on July 3, 2014