Carolyn Harris Livingston of Gainesville, Fla., died peacefully on August 14, 2022, surrounded by her loving family. She was 86.
She was born in Cookeville, Tenn., on January 7, 1936, to Mr. and Mrs. Frazier and Myrtle Lee Harris of Algood, Tenn. Carolyn graduated from Algood High School in 1954. In 1959 she received her Bachelor of Science degree from Tennessee Tech University. She moved to the Washington, D.C., area in 1959, then to Gainesville, Fla., in 1969. In 1981 she received her master of education and, in 1986, her Ph.D. in music education, both from the University of Florida. She was married to and predeceased by three husbands: Frank Warren Medley, Jr. (married 1955, died in 1967), Jesse Bernard Livingston (married 1969, died in 1993), and Burton Zitkin (married 2000, died in 2016).
Carolyn was a woman of devout faith in Christ. Her passion for music was the foundation of Carolyn’s professional life. Her long career as a noted music educator and choir director was marked by many achievements, awards and accolades. A classically trained soprano, Carolyn sang as a soloist and with numerous choirs over her entire adult life and into her 80s. Carolyn also enjoyed travel, gardening and writing, and was a lifelong, avid reader. In 1987 Carolyn joined the faculty of the University of Rhode Island as an assistant professor in music education. She retired from URI in 2008 as a full professor, including a 10-year stint as director of graduate studies in music. She returned to Gainesville permanently in 2014.
Carolyn’s memory will be treasured by her three children and three stepchildren: Frank Warren Medley III of Ohio, Jane Carolyn Medley (Kenneth Denman) of Gainesville, Jennifer Harris Martin (James Craig Martin) of Virginia, Jeffrey Brian Livingston and Patrick Lee Livingston of Florida, and Laura Livingston Nuttle of Georgia. Carolyn had 10 beloved grandchildren, one of whom predeceased her, and five beloved great-grandchildren. Her surviving extended family from her later third marriage include “bonus daughter” Claire Weiss Weinberg (Alan) of Wisconsin and five bonus grandchildren.
A public memorial service is planned for Friday, September 23, at 10 AM, at the Trinity United Methodist Church chapel, 4000 NW 53rd Avenue, Gainesville, Fla. Private interment will follow at Forest Meadows East. Final arrangements provided by Forest Meadows Funeral Home and Cemeteries, Gainesville, Fla., phone (352) 378-2528.
The family suggests that any donations in Carolyn’s memory be made to the Livingston/Zitkin Graduate Scholarship in Music Fund, Department of Music, University of Rhode Island. Flowers arranged by The Plant Shoppe Florist, Gainesville, Fla., phone (352) 371-6249.