Lydia Y. Livingston never made it to Paris.

Her lifelong wish was to see the City of Light. Even in her final illness she told her son, Erik, "I can't get sick now. I have to get to Paris."

Although she never made it even to Europe, Lydia was an inveterate traveler, cruising the Caribbean, visiting South America and touring all over the U.S.

She and her friend Bonnie Smith would pack up and head out to faraway places, including ski resorts where she would test her skill on the slopes.

Lydia Livingston, a 20-year employee of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation of the Pennsylvania Labor and Industry Department, an active churchwoman and community leader, died Saturday. She was 59 and lived in the Bella Vista neighborhood of South Philadelphia.

She was born in Washington, D.C., to Lydia and Frank Thompson. She came to Philadelphia at an early age and graduated from Bok Vocational High School.

She was a secretary/stenographer for the state. She retired in the '90s.

Lydia was active with the Phillips Temple Christian Methodist Church. She was church secretary, handling many of the church activities, and was available for whatever else the church needed.

She was also active in the Bella Vista community, working through local politicians to help neighbors in need. She also worked the polls at election time.

Her husband of 30 years, Nathaniel Livingston, died in 2004.

She is survived by three sons, Robert, Erik and Philip Livingston, and 16 grandchildren.

Services: 10 a.m. tomorrow at Phillips Temple Christian Methodist Church, 754 S. 3rd St. Friends may call at 9 a.m. Burial will be in Eden Cemetery, Collingdale. *