Carolyn Holder Livingston

Published 9:26 am Thursday, April 25, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Carolyn Holder Livingston slipped peacefully through the mortal veil on Sunday, April 7, 2024.  

Carolyn was born July 20,1937 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Arthur and Hilda Holder. An only child, she would spend her early years in Southern California before returning to Pennsylvania’s Bucks County, where she attended The Solebury School. It was during her senior year of high school that her father’s transfer to Attapulgus Clay Company, charged with overseeing the installation of a new catalyst for the mine, would bring her to Bainbridge. With four generations of family already there, her roots were well established. Carolyn’s cousins and their friends welcomed her, and she found true and lifelong friends. 

After graduating from Florida State University, Carolyn married Lt. Larry Kester. While stationed in San Francisco, where she worked as a buyer for Macy’s, her first child, Christie, arrived. Two and half years and several moves later her second child, Scott, would be born in Los Angeles.

Email newsletter signup

Carolyn was a wonderful mother and enjoyed her friends and family. Yearly visits to see parents and cousins in Bainbridge as well as her beloved Beacon Hill kept her strong ties to home. After her divorce she moved to Tallahassee, where she worked and strove to make a life with her children, while working closer to her family.

On a blind date, Mayo Livingston Jr. stepped into her life and soon after, forever stole her heart. On March 9, 1974, the couple married, and they lived an example of true love and devotion for 45 years.  The bond they shared strengthened and supported the many civic and community projects which Mayo started or contributed to. She was “The Woman” behind the man—contently and graciously playing his muse. Together their travels spanned the globe:  Machu Picchu, The Galápagos Islands, New Zealand, the Seychelles, Egypt and many more. Always eager to experience the world, its people and natural wonders first hand, often in the company of “The Gang of Five,” a happy cadre of close friends and fellow adventure seekers. Family members were included on trips to Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. While sailing aboard The Julia Lee, they were introduced to Shoal Bay, and so began a love affair with the island of Anguilla, its crystal waters and easy charm, the tiny Caribbean gem they held so near and dear to their hearts.  

Family and friends were many and Carolyn deeply loved them all. Her life in Cyrene was filled with laughter and love and she relished the country solitude, the subtle gifts of nature, afternoon toddies and quiet conversation. Carolyn befriended many stray cats and loved the many dogs she owned throughout her life. She was a long-standing member of a local book club and loved to hike and canoe with family and friends. She and Mayo searched for lost cemeteries and historical places—the more obscure, the better.

An ever-expanding tribe of grandchildren and great-grands were her pride and joy.  After the passing of her beloved Mayo in the fall of 2020, she relocated to an assisted living facility near her son, Scott. Always an avid reader, Carolyn continued to devour sometimes two or more books weekly. She made new friends, but always kept the old. Chatting and messaging with the family she adored, she remained optimistic and joyful of spirit until the end. She was one of a kind and a treasure to those lucky enough to have known her. 

She is survived by her children Christie Kester of Tallahassee, FL and Scott Kester of Marietta, GA. As well as Buz and Susan Livingston of Santa Rosa Beach, FL, Joe and Jenny Livingston of Bainbridge Grandchildren Jessica Ritter and Ian Ritter, Caroline Kester, Jack Kester and Henry Kester; Jim Livingston and Blair Lucas (Michael), Fraser Livingston (Tiffany) and Addie Livingston, Townsend Livingston and Mayo Livingston. Carolyn was thrilled to brag about her great grandchildren Suzanna and Charlotte Lucas and Laslie Bird Livingston.

The memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Stephen Webb officiating. Carolyn’s grandchildren will serve as honorary pallbearers.

The family will receive friends immediately following the service in Simmons Parlor. Online visitors may sign the guest register at Memorial donations may be made to Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society, 1250 Cox Avenue, Bainbridge, GA 39819.

Bryant Funeral Home, located at 105 N. Florida Street, is assisting the family with arrangements. (229-246-3321)