Frank Livermore: Founder of the Museum of American Heritage

Publication Date: Wednesday Jun 21, 2000

Frank Livermore: Founder of the Museum of American Heritage

Frank Livermore, who donated his unusual collection of Americana to help establish the Museum of American Heritage, passed away June 9. He was 81.

A native of Palo Alto, Livermore was born in 1919 at the old Palo Alto Hospital. He attended local high schools and graduated form Palo Alto High School.

Livermore served in the Navy and was stationed in the Azores during WWII. Upon his discharge, he returned to Palo Alto and volunteered as scout master of Palo Alto Troop 49, of which he had been a charter member. His scouts remember his passion for their outdoor education, and he received the Boy Scouts of America's "Silver Beaver" award in recognition of his lifetime scouting achievements. The "Silver Beaver" is the highest award given to adult volunteers in the organization.

Livermore worked as an office manager and broadcaster for several Metromedia radio stations around the country. He was part owner of KOME radio in San Jose before it became part of Infinity Broadcasting. Livermore also worked at many local stations, often taking over weekend operations and occupying such roles as news broadcaster and disc jockey simultaneously.

Livermore believed strongly in giving back to the community. In 1985, he established a charitable trust to fund a local museum and provide college scholarships for qualified Eagle Scouts. The trust has funded more than 45 scholarships to date.

In 1990, Livermore redirected his passion for collecting mechanical and electrochemical devices into founding the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto. In 1998, the museum moved to its present location at 351 Homer St.

A newly constructed multipurpose building was recently dedicated "The Frank Livermore Learning Center" by the city of Palo Alto in commemoration of his contributions to the Palo Alto community. Classes taught at the center will range from electrical circuits for kids to crystal radio building for all ages.

He is survived by his sister, Margaret Thomason of Vista, CA. A private interment at Alta Mesa Cemetary has been arranged. No funeral services as per request. Friends are invited to make donations in Frank's memory to the Museum of American Heritage, 351 Homer St., P.O. Box 1731, Palo Alto, CA 94301 or to the Stanford District of the Pacific Skyline Council, Boy Scouts of America, Palo Alto, CA. 

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