Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois
Curve-In, Fairview Avenue

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rick Livesay

Richard Livesay, besides being in the German club, was most deeply involved in music at MacArthur High School. He found himself playing for the Cadet Band, involved in chorus and choral groups, and engaging in musicals, festivals, and Christmas programs. Rick even was a member of exchange programs with rival high schools, Lakeview and Stephen Decatur.

As Rick began writing his bio for this blog, he was reflective and wanted to know how much folks might want to know: "I was born in Eugene, Oregon, to the present, but with some stuff like I worked for Macon County Mosquito Abatement District; yes, I was the guy who drove the fog truck at night."

He recently went through a knee operation, had some time off, and come back with thoughts on what he wanted to share. In his own words:

"My senior year I fell in love with a Junior, Kay Kirchmann; she died suddenly in an accident, which we can never understand. WHY? is always the question and it's never answered. I have never gotten over this and maintain her grave to this day. I still keep in touch with her mother as she too meant lots to the high school kid who practically lived at her house. Those who have left us need mentioning somewhere."

Rick returned later with more specifics, about life after MacArthur:

"After graduation from MacArthur I began my summer employment at Macon County Mosquito Abatement District. This was to be my summer job for the next three summers.

"In the fall of '65, I attended little Eureka College, majoring in elementary education. I stayed at Eureka for one and a half years transferring to the University of Missouri half way through my sophomore year. I graduated from MU in 1969 with a BS in Education and signed on to the Mehlville School District in St Louis County.

"Almost immediately I fell in love with teaching. It was during this first year when I got the call to serve in the US Army, as so many of us did. I got to finish my first year of teaching and the following summer; then took off for Ft. Leonard Wood. I spent most of my Army time being sent to training schools and finally ended up at Manhattan, Kansas with the Big Red One at Ft. Riley. It was during this year I served directly under the Commanding General and ran a portion of the personnel department. I also became a Kansas State fan and a bartender in my part time.

"After my service I headed back to my teaching position in Mehlville where I spent the next 28 years, with 6th graders as a science teacher and coach. I met my wife of 35 years, Kathy, at my school. She was an aid with special district and just knocked me off my feet. We had two great kids Mark, 23 and Beth, 26; both have graduated and live too far from us. No grand kids yet. I continued my education and received a Masters Degree from SIU Edwardsville and an additional 48 hours from Southeast Missouri State and Truman Universities. I was awarded the nomination for the NFL Teacher of the year by a former student, National Air Force Teacher of the Year, My Districts Teacher of the Year and other awards. I spoke to teachers at State Conventions, ran work shops, but never published or pursued a doctorate. I just loved being a Daddy too much to be away from my family.

"After teaching I took a part time job in my local community center in their fitness department. Here I gradually learned how to be a floor trainer. (That’s the guy who helps everyone with no specific clients.) Also I began fixing things that broke down. These technical skills grew and I became a valued commodity. I moved to another center and then to another. Who would have thought about upward mobility in retirement? I now work for the City of Webster Groves and have been in recreation for ten years and plan to stay here until I finally retire.

"I look forward to increasing my activities in gardening, reading, art, exercise, kayaking and camping and bike riding. I’d also love to sing again in a church choir and find MayBerry."

Rick later remembered to send in his first car/present car info:

"I shared a car with my brother, a 1973 Comet. My first was a 1972 Mercury Capri sports car thing. Now, I own a Honda minivan that is silver and let's see, it is a 2002 with 112,000 miles."

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