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Martha Sayles Nicholson Livingston

October 5, 1922 January 18, 2017
Martha Sayles Nicholson Livingston
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Obituary for Martha Sayles Nicholson Livingston

Martha Sayles Nicholson Livingston passed away on January 18, 2017, from complications of pneumonia. Martie (Tutu to her family) was a caring wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great grandmother. Born in 1922 in Providence to Martha Sayles Nicholson and Paul C. Nicholson, she lived her entire life in Rhode Island, the last 45 years full time at her beloved Wind Hill I n Bristol. Martie attended Gordon School and graduated from Miss Porter’s School in 1941. While she never went to college, she was among the most educated of the Livingston clan, holding two honorary degrees: a Doctor of Humanities from Roger Williams University and an Honorary Doctorate from Bryant University. She served as a nurse’s aide in WWII.
Martie was a tireless volunteer giving back to her community over many decades of her life. She was the First Directress of the Providence Female Charitable Society, the first female General Campaign Chairman of the United Way of Southeastern New England, chair of Gordon School Board of Directors and founder of Volunteers in Action in the 1960’s. She was a member of the Junior League of Providence, the Grace Church Vestry, the Handicraft Club, the Wednesday Club and a board member of Bradley Hospital.

Martie was a devoted wife and first mate to her husband, Stanley, who passed away in 2015. They sailed together exploring countries and waters around the world. She was a creative needlepointer and artist, and often led the family in singing old favorites with her beautiful soprano voice. But most of all she was a gracious and welcoming hostess, always happy to see family and guests. She made times together fun with games, poems and contests, and wonderful stories of growing up in Rhode Island. Her love for family leaves a strong legacy.

Martie was predeceased by her husband, Stanley, her grandson, Bradford, and her brother W. Sayles Nicholson. She is survived by her brother Paul C. Nicholson Jr. of Providence and her children and their spouses: Ted and Karen Livingston, Magrieta and Sherwood Willard, Mary and David Bush-Brown, Stan Livingston and Anne Hughes, John and Nan Livingston, 17 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 11AM at Central Congregational Church in Providence. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the United Way of Rhode Island, 50 Valley St., Providence 02909 or Bristol Art Museum, 10 Wardwell ST., Bristol 02809 or a charity of your choice.

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