North Side native inspired by notable neighbors

Debra Erdley
| Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

You can take the boy out of the North Side, but you can't take the North Side out of the boy, Joanne Livingstone soon learned after her marriage to Red Livingstone.

Although the Livingstones moved to Mt. Washington after their marriage 50 years ago, Mr. Livingstone relished his memories of the growing up in the 1940s and '50s in the close-knit Pittsburgh neighborhood known as “The Ward.”

Donald W. “Red” Livingstone, 77, of Mt. Washington, died at home on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, 2012.

“The North Side was an enormous part of his life,” Joanne Livingstone said. She said her husband recounted stories of growing up around Art Rooney Sr. and babysitting future CIA director Michael Hayden, who lived next door.

“He had a football that was Michael Hayden's. He has an autographed picture from (Hayden) that is signed ‘I still want my football back.' He would joke that he had stolen a football from the director of the CIA,” Mrs. Livingstone said.

Her husband often told of Steelers' founder Art Rooney Sr. gathering boys from the neighborhood into his 1948 Buick station wagon and taking them out to play football or attend games. For Red Livingstone, it was the start of a lifelong love affair with the sport.

Mr. Livingstone played for, helped organize and coached various North Side sandlot and semi-pro football teams, becoming an assistant coach for the championship semi-pro North Side Express in the 1980s.

His daughter, Gail Livingstone, said the Rooneys were longtime supporters of her father's various football enterprises and donated equipment and supplies to them over the years.

“He always said he couldn't have done it without the Rooneys,” she said.

More recently, Mr. Livingstone displayed memorabilia from those teams at the annual North Side Old Timers picnic, said Fred Zangaro. Zangaro said those events highlight the community pride that once reigned supreme in the neighborhood that had “a sandlot team on every corner.”

Mr. Livingstone was an Army veteran and a Teamster. During a long career, he drove for many carriers. Mrs. Livingstone said her husband also drove for a string of notables when they visited Pittsburgh, including former vice president Al Gore, and Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep when they were here to make the 1978 film “The Deer Hunter.”

Mr. Livingstone was a Democratic Committee member and judge of elections for many years.

In addition to his wife and daughter, survivors include two sons, Donald B. and Michael T. Livingstone, and two grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday in Brusco-Falvo Funeral Home, 214 Virginia Ave., Mt. Washington. Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. Mary of the Mount Church, followed by military honors by VFW Post 5111.

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or

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