A member of the Canadian Cattlemen “family,” Tom Livingston, Duchess, Alta., passed away on March 1, 2022. He was 93.
Tom became a Cattlemen columnist in 1994 with his “From the Banks of the Red Deer” writings. His last column appeared in 2008 when he suffered a stroke. He later published his favourite columns as a book under the same title.
Born in Lethbridge, Tom signed on as a 15-year old cowpuncher with the George Stringham outfit at Milk River, Alta. As a teen, he spent many days employed on various ranch operations in southern Alberta and in Montana. Tom later managed the huge 700,000-acre Chilco Ranch west of Williams Lake, B.C.
His ranching career was interrupted by two years of military service in the Korean War. He had joined the U.S. Army in 1950. The Republic of South Korea bestowed their military Medal of Honor upon him in 2018.
Tom and his family returned to Alberta in the late 1960s. He partnered with Bryce Stringham on a ranch near Cessford, Alta. After a few land deals, Tom ended up on a spread north of Duchess and settled there.
The land happened to be the renowned John Ware ranch.
(Incidentally, Ware’s old cabin lives on at Dinosaur Provincial Park, nearby at Patricia, Alta.)
Tom served on many boards and organizations: Eastern Irrigation District, Duchess Ag. Society, Alberta Cattle Commission, Canadian Cattleman’s Association and Conservative Party. He was both a consultant and board member for the Alberta Surface Rights Federation.
In his columns, Tom often championed property rights, individual freedoms and personal responsibility.
“Tom was a fearsome foe. It didn’t matter whether it was the fists or the pen,” wrote the Western Stockgrowers’ Association in a tribute to him. “He was generally on the winning side and garnered respect from all.”
The Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame inducted Tom in 2008. The organization described him as “representing the epitome of grassroots leadership.”
Tom’s wife Elaine survives him, as do his daughters Kathryn, Rebecca, son John (Lisa), and their mother Nadene, along with 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Tom’s son Clayton predeceased him.
Readers may obtain Tom’s book, “From the Banks of the Red Deer” from Kathryn Livingston at Duchess, Ph. or Text 403-376-4096, or via e-mail: email@example.com.
by Mark Kihn, Calgary, Alta.