John P. Livesey

John P. Livesey

Madison – John Patrick Livesey, age 75, passed away Tuesday May 30, 2017 after a short but courageous battle with cancer. John was born in Madison on June 5, 1941.

John was the patriarch of a large and loving family, which includes his devoted wife Bonnie M. Livesey and their four children: John K. Livesey (Lisa), Michelle L. Hutton (Mike), James P. Livesey and Jeff A. Livesey (Emily). Furthermore, John was blessed with 10 wonderful grandchildren: Erica and Tony Fleming; John “Jake” Livesey and Sydney Livesey; Kyle Hutton; Austen, Ashlyn and Abby Livesey; Gavin Huml; and Madeline “Maddie” Livesey. John was preceded in death by his father Sidney Livesey, his mother Grace Livesey and his granddaughter Erica Fleming.

Bonnie was John’s high school sweetheart and the love of his life. John and Bonnie were married on June 2, 1961 and shared over 55 years of their lives together. During these wonderful years they enjoyed traveling the country and the world together. Their trip to Ireland was an especially meaningful experience for both of them. However, their greatest passion was their children, and they tirelessly worked together to provide a loving and supportive home for them. Together they radiated profound pride in all four of their children.

In a word, John’s other passion was “Fast”. Whether it was cars, boats, speed skating, snowmobiles or horses, John always wanted to be the fastest. From a very young age he had an obsession with cars. Many were treated to fantastic stories of his drag racing days as a young man. Over the years, he took great pleasure in “sharing” the quickness of his cars with unsuspecting passengers. As a young man he also loved speed skating on Madison’s lakes and ponds. Later in life, John reconnected with his childhood love of horses. He had a vision of the perfect horse ranch which he was thrilled to be able to make a reality at his Running Horse Ranch. This idyllic property gave him a great deal of peace and enjoyment.

John was also a visionary businessman. He would always say that he “stepped out of a paint bucket into the world of real estate development”. As a very young man he took the reins of his father’s painting company and his tenacity and use of cutting edge technology resulted in tremendous success. However, John was not destined to be a painter for very long and he parlayed his success into his true passion of real estate. John was the founder of Livesey Enterprises, later to become Livesey Company. For 5 decades he successfully developed retail, office, medical and industrial projects all over the state of Wisconsin. The fruits of his labor include over a hundred developments adding up to millions of square feet of property. While he would probably hate the word, perhaps his greatest business talent was his ability to stay “relevant” in the ever-changing up and down real estate world. As times and tastes changed, he realized that his projects needed to change too.

John was truly a character in the best sense of the word. His indomitable spirit was an inspiration to all who knew him. What John sincerely loved best was talking to people and telling terrific stories. Anyone who had the privilege of meeting him will attest to that. For his family it is impossible to imagine a world without John in it. The loss we feel is indescribable. We all were blessed to have known him and the void created by his passing will forever go unfilled.

A memorial service to honor and celebrate John’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, June 12, 2017 at Holy Wisdom Monastery, 4200 County Road M, Middleton, WI 53562. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Urology, UW Foundation, U.S. Bank Lockbox, Box 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807 or at

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison