David Livingston, left, is congratulated by Dave Wahlstrom. Livingston was presented with the Dodge Center Citizen of the Year award during the Lions picnic at Coops Event Barn on Monday night.
Photo by Melanie Dobson
By Ruth Hanson
and Karen M. Jorgensen
David Livingston has been named "Dodge Center Citizen of the Year" for 2017.
Livingston, who said he was "flabbergasted" when told of his selection has been active in area organizations including the Dodge Center Lions Club and the American Legion. He is also a member of the Dodge County Soil and Water Conservation District Board.
Livingston said he was born in Blooming Prairie but moved to Dodge Center as a child and graduated from Dodge Center High School in 1959. In high school, he was chapter president of the FFA and played saxophone in the high school band.
In 1961, he married Judy Hansen from Blooming Prairie at the Presbyterian Church in Hayfield. That was also the year he joined the U.S. Air Force where he served for four years.
After his discharge from the Air Force he returned to Minnesota and began farming on the farm his father bought in 1944. He also began his involvement with local civic groups.
He said he was a charter member of the Dodge Center Lions Club, but dropped out for a while because "I was milking cows and couldn't make the meetings."
He rejoined a few years later and has been active ever since.
"The main thing with being active in a service club," he said, "is our motto, 'We Serve.' It is actually fun to help promote the Lions Club and to see the results; whether it's giving to the Scouts, doing Peace posters at the school, giving scholarships, walking two miles of road cleaning up ditches or other things Lions do."
He also pointed out other Lions Club activities including collecting hearing aids and glasses and donating those items to Lions International. The local group is also proud of working with the youth in the area including the yearly Halloween Party.
The newest project, he said is working on the Dodge Center Lions Park.
The Lions are not the only organization that has benefited from Livingston's service.
Earlier this year he was recognized as a 50-year member of the Dodge Center American Legion Post.
He currently serves as the Post's service officer but over the years has been commander, not once but three times, the adjutant once, and for many years the sergeant-at-arms.
For the past dozen years or so, he said, he has represented his district on the Dodge County Soil and Water Conservation District board.
Although not the most well-known governmental body, the work of the board is getting more important because of water quality issues, he said.
A part of his service on the board has been attending meetings of the Cedar River Water District to give input from Dodge County.
When his children were young, he said, and were in 4H and FFA, he was active in those organizations. As a former FFA member himself, he said, he is a member of the Dodge Center FFA alumni group.
He is also active in First Presbyterian Church in Hayfield where he has served three times on the church board as well as on the worship committee.
The Livingston's have three daughters, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. His daughter, Sheila, is married to Paul Kiltinen and they have two children, Shea and Shelby. Daughter Sheryl is married to Brad Dohrmann and they two children, Courtney and Deven. The third daughter is Shawn. Granddaughter Shea has a daughter, Annabelle.
Livingston currently farms with his son-in-law, Brad Dohrmann, where they have 60 head of beef cows. He said his grandchildren have shown the cows at FFA and 4H events.
And if that isn't enough to keep him occupied, Livingston said he also drives a pre-school bus for the Triton School District.