The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
A retired Illinois State Trooper, Al Livingston, of Oquawka, was named OquawkaĠs Citizen Of The Year by the Oquawka Village Board this month.
Livingston moved to Oquawka as a State Trooper in 1958 from Granite City, Illinois. He worked for the state enforcing laws and assisting motorists for thirty years before he retired.
After that, Al said, he enjoyed a quieter life working in the Oquawka community for Tom and Linda Clapp at the Oquawka Hardware store for three years.
He then went to work in Monmouth for ten years as a property inspector and claims adjustor for Monmouth Mutual Insurance Co. and also did work for Smith Insurance Agency, who shared the same building.
In 2005 he retired from everything, due to what he said was a bunch of health issues.
Al has been active with the Henderson County Masonic Lodge since 1970 and was a volunteer worker for the Henderson County Tourism Council which included assisting with the complicated process of listing all the activities during Heritage Trails for a brochure that was published.
Al is an active member of the Oquawka Methodist Church.
He grew up in the Ozarks in the middle of central Missouri and he went on to Granite City, Illinois where he finished his high school education. He then entered prep school for six months in Bainbridge, MD, for the Naval Academy for officers training which is no longer there. He said it was very strict training and what he called harassment and he soon decided that was not for him.
He went back to sea serving the Navy for four years. The Korean War was winding down and he avoided the conflicts, he said, as fellow servicemen and women were coming home .
It was in January 1958 in Granite City when Al began service with the Illinois State Police. The following year, he met (Mary Jean Dawdy) who was living in Galesburg... her folks lived in Oquawka.
Mary Jean had five brothers and five sisters of which several have passed on.
In October of 1959 Al and Mary Jean were married and they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2009. They have three children:
- Stan is with Order of St. Francis Hospital in Monmouth working as a custodian.
- Scott, works for the Burlington Northern-Sante Fe Railroad and his wife is Jennifer (Bigger-Olson) who has one son.
- Laurie is their daughter, and lives in Dixon and works for Raynor Doors.
She has two girls, and one of them has six year old twins.
This gives Al and Mary Jean two granddaughters, a grandson, and two great grandchildren.
"It was nice to receive this nice recognition from the Oquawka Board," Al said. "But I haven't done anything special," he said. "I was just three weeks out of my cancer surgery and rather weak."
He insists that he hasn't done any more than he had in past years to gain this award - I've supported the church, the Little League concession stand for the youth of our community, but said it was very nice to be thought of in this way.
Al is a supportive member of the community and does whatever he can.
He has been an active Masonic Lodge member for 41 years, and this picture was taken prior to the West Central Awards Banquet where Al came with his good friend "Woody" in case "a backup" was needed for giving the Masonic Lodge Award.
Al stopped to clap and smile at Lanie Hultgren, "that's an Oquawka girl," he said, called up for an award. It was encouragement that he gives everyday so freely, but he just doesn't notice he does it... but others notice and they do appreciate it.
Thank you Al for all you do and "Congratulations!" for being named Oquawka's Citizen of The Year.