Peter David Livingston, 81, of Spring Green and Madison died
February 23, 2023, at Hebron Hall, Oakwood Village West, from
heart and lung diseases. He tried mightily to rehabilitate himself but
couldn’t. As recently as December, Peter and his wife, Sharon Stark,
celebrated her birthday in the Dominican Republic.
Peter was born January 25, 1942 in Manhattan, New York. He was
raised in the Bronx “casting a shadow on Yankee Stadium,” as he
was fond of saying. By remarkable coincidence, the Bronx street he
lived on was shown on the wallpaper collage at the Subway deli in
Spring Green when he and Sharon moved to that rural community.
Peter was graduated from William Howard Taft High School in
1958, Harvard College (or as he called it, the University of
Wisconsin of the East) in 1962 (BA) and the University of Chicago
in 1965 (MA).
A year later, he volunteered for alternative service. He spent the next
two years with his then wife, Barbara, in Guatemala, organizing and
servicing credit unions as well as developing preschool programs for
Peter returned to the U.S. in 1968 and worked briefly at the New
Jersey Neuropsychiatric Hospital before coming to Madison to work
for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). He eventually
became vice president of research and development, helping create
the credit union checking account and ATM access capabilities.
Peter married Sharon Stark (a credit union colleague) in 1988. By
then, they had started Stark Livingston, Inc. For 30 years, the firm
provided survey research, product planning, strategic planning,
marketing and personal finance services to credit unions nationwide.
In 2000, they moved from Madison to rural Spring Green. They
bought land that once belonged to Sharon’s maternal great
grandparents and grandparents. Together, they designed and built a
prairie-style house, and started restoring their land to native prairies.
The prairies have provided a peace and tranquility for Sharon and
Peter and given homes to native habitat.
Peter was a generous supporter of the UW-Madison, especially the
astronomy department on whose board of visitors he served and
chaired for many years; Madison Symphony Orchestra (donating the
orchestra’s Hamburg piano in honor of his mother); local public
radio and television; and numerous social justice and conservation
nonprofits. For more than 20 years, Peter served on the UW Credit
Union board of directors.
Peter and Sharon shared a love of exploration and adventure,
traveling to all seven continents and countless countries. Peter took
great pride in learning basic language skills for countries visited,
even when it was necessary to learn new alphabets. Other passions
included playing recorder and observing the night skies.
Peter took great joy in family, friends and his Keeshond companions
Mariejke, Tabby, Hudson, Kaatje and Veerle.
Peter is survived by Sharon, his sons Jose (Shannon) and grandson
David; John; Jenny Livingston Lengyel and grandchildren, Sam
(Alicia) and great grandchildren Graham and Nori; and Brianna
Livingston-Lengyel. He is preceded in death by his father David
Livingston and mother Magdalena Friedman.
A celebration of life will be held June 10 at the Fluno Center, 601
University Avenue, on the UW-Madison campus from 2:00 to 4:30.
Memorials can be sent to the UW Astronomy department or the UW
Odyssey Project. Odyssey empowers low-income adults to find their
voices and work toward college degrees.