One year later: Parents of Cook County storm victim reflect on her life

(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

COOK CO., GA (WALB) - For the Livingston family, it's been a year of remembrance, keeping the memory of their daughter alive.

Alexis Livingston, 19, died when a tornado tore through Sunshine Acres Mobile Home Park in Cook County.

It's been one year, 365 long days that the Livingston family has spent without Alexis.

"For me, it's still remembering that day, and how tough it's been but everyone's been supportive of me and my family," said Jamie Livingston, Alexis's father.

"For me, I held up well until January, so January has been very tough on me," said Cyndi Livingston, Alexis's mother.

Alexis was one of seven victims that were killed in the Sunshine Acres Mobile Home Park after a deadly tornado ripped through the area.

Her father, Jamie, said losing her taught him something.

"You just don't know when your time is up. Live every day to your fullest. Alexis did that, and I'm doing that," said Jamie.

It's not just tough on Alexis's parents, but her two sisters, and her friends.

"I saw a friend of hers the other day, a couple days ago, and just the mention of her name, he choked up and walked off. It's just hard on everybody," said Cyndi.

For part of this year, the Livingstons lived in Tifton. Now they are back in Adel and said they couldn't be happier. To them, Cook County is home.

"This started Alexis's soccer career so this is home for all of us," said Jamie.

Soccer was her life. This personal statement is from her recruitment page online:

When I start something I'm sure to finish it. I put 100 percent into everything I do. I believe you won't get anywhere in life if you don't give it your all. I am also very competitive but in a good way. I believe that a team should be a family and that a team should have great communication and be supportive of each other. My goal in life is to go to college to play soccer and study sports medicine.

That is the type of person Alexis was.

"She was meant to make a difference everywhere she went. She would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it," said Jamie.

Just one month after her death, $12,000 was raised on a GoFundMe page to help with her funeral.

An anonymous donor also paid for her tombstone.

The Livingstons said that shows how much their daughter impacted this community.

"Alexis left a mark on her friends, and her friends and the community have been taking good care of us," said Jamie.

Six months ago, Jamie Livingston started a petition to make storm shelters mandatory in mobile home parks.

So far it's received more than 800 signatures.

"They are still supportive, and we want to thank everyone for it," said Cyndi.

"Not a day goes by that people don't say 'hey you're Alexis's dad, how are you doing, can we do anything? No, we're good.' And we just have to remind ourselves that we are good. We have people that love us," said Jamie.

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