Fondren Offers Tribute to Livingston
Fondren’s longest native resident, Elta Livingston, was laid to rest on Monday after her death at the age of 83 late last week. Last night, at Fondren’s 13th annual Symphony at Sunset, Livingston was recognized as this year’s Symphony honoree.
Fondren Renaissance Executive Director Jim Wilkirson delivered a moving tribute to one of Fondren’s biggest fans:
“Tonight we honor Elta Livingston. Elta is one of our dearest friends. She has been in Fondren her entire life. Last week, she left dear Fondren for a life up above. We loved Elta and Elta was always there around the edges. She always had a hand in everything. She didn’t want to be the center of attention, but she sure did have some drive and determination.
She’d be sitting right out there at the (The Cedars) sign right now, right at the fringe. That’s what Elta would do. She’d be greeting every single person as they came up.
So tonight, we honor this beautiful legacy of Elta Livingston.
She was our oldest living Fondren resident She had been here her entire life. She was born right up State Street and attended Duling School.
She loved The Cedars and she loved this neighborhood. She’s seen it through the great times growing up here, also through a little bit of decay. She was one of the very first to say ‘It’s time to revitalize.’ And that’s what she did. With us, hand in hand, she has lead Fondren Renaissance for many years and you see exactly where we are today.
She was extremely proud of her church, St. Luke United Methodist Church, right across from her school where she grew up. We have given, in honor of her, a paschal candle. That candle not only represents her passing on to a better life, but also the birth of every new child that will go through that church. Exactly what any one would want to do to carry on their spirit.
I know she is here with us. It’s a wonderful night and I’m so glad you were here to share this with Fondren.”
Wilkirson recognized Livingston’s family, many of whom stayed in Fondren this week to be able to attend Symphony at Sunset. He then called to the stage Livingston’s niece, Daphne Lee, who spoke on behalf of her aunt’s family.
“Thanks for coming, thanks for supporting the family and Elta.
Elta loved Fondren and the people that lived and worked here. She loved her community, she loved her church and, I think, over the past few weeks, as we have reflected on memories of Elta and the legacy of the people that she has loved and the lives that she has changed, a perfect memorial is here tonight. And the people that are here together, take away, that (you should) encourage charity and cherish your friends and fellowship with your friends. And again, thanks for your support and your love of Elta.”