In all aspects of life, Dr. Charles Livingston wanted only the best. Although Dr. Livingston passed away almost two years ago, his passion for excellence and giving back continues to impact 12 local charities.
Dr. Livingston moved to Salina in 1965, after accepting a job at the Salina Clinic. He loved to learn and was deeply committed to his work as a general surgeon. Longtime nurse Emma Doherty, who worked closely with Dr. Livingston, said he was the best pacemaker surgeon in the area. Dr. Livingston expected excellence, taking time to teach his staff how to provide the best care for his patients.
“He was definitely a mentor to all of his employees. I probably admired him most for his desire to teach us and to make sure we knew how to care for patients so they could get better faster,” Doherty said. “He cared about patients and their families. He was very, very caring, before surgery, during surgery and after surgery.”
Beyond work, Dr. Livingston was an eccentric man of diverse interests. He loved traveling, art and his church. His love of travel carried him overseas as a volunteer surgeon in Vietnam, Somalia and Pakistan. He enjoyed living in his downtown loft, riding around town on his bike and growing his personal art collection. Committed to making his community a better place, Dr. Livingston became a founding donor of the Greater Salina Community Foundation in 1999.
A cinema enthusiast, Dr. Livingston spent much of his free time at the Salina Art Center. As a board member, he was passionately involved in the development of the Art Center Warehouse. Dr. Livingston also enjoyed interacting with artists during opening receptions. Staff member Heather Greene said Dr. Livingston loved to get into playful sparring matches with those around him, but deep down he was just a “teddy bear.”
“I remember one time, we had an event downtown and he bought a big piece of pottery. On his way home, I saw him just dancing down the street holding his pot,” Greene said. “He was just so happy to have that piece of pottery.”
Dr. Livingston passed away on March 16, 2018. Through his will, he chose to leave 5% of his estate to establish a permanent fund at the Greater Salina Community Foundation. Reflecting his wide-ranging interests during his life, Dr. Livingston’s fund will benefit 12 charities, including:
- Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery
- Fellow Man International Foundation
- Greater Salina Community Foundation
- Habitat for Humanity
- Heifer International
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Child Development Center
- Raymer Society
- Salina Area United Way
- Salina Art Center
- Salina Regional Health Foundation Nursing Scholarships
- Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Salina
- University of Kansas School of Medicine – Salina
“I think he wants to be remembered for giving to improve other people’s lives and wanting to make a difference,” said Doherty. “He was very giving.”
Charitable giving through a will or trust is an easy, meaningful way for people to leave a significant, lasting impact on the community. To learn more about how to establish an estate gift to support your favorite charities, contact your professional advisor or call the community foundation at 785-823-1800.