A Gift After Life: Local educator honored to fulfill mother's wish to be an organ donor

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | October 15, 2017
By Jeff Toquinto.  Perhaps it was coincidence. JD Lister knows that’s in the realm of possibility even if he doesn’t believe it.

For Lister and his family and friends, coincidence will have to take a back seat. Riding up front is faith and belief and the promise of life in what Lister admits has been one of the worst weeks of his still relatively young life.

On Friday, JD Lister said goodbye to his mother who passed away last week at the young age of 52. A short day of mourning after a week of mourning was held at Burnside Funeral Home to celebrate the life of Gwendolyn Amber "Wendy" Lister and to allow for final goodbyes.

Yet something happened during the process that proves that life can continue in ways we often don’t think about. There are ways that Wendy Lister will provide a chance at life for others that has managed in some small ways to lift the cloud of grief that has hung over JD Lister, his family and Wendy’s  friends.

All of it set up by a set of circumstances the 30-year-old JD Lister, Wendy’s only child, believes were far from coincidence. Instead, he believes – for reasons he doesn’t know and knows he’ll never know on this earth – what took place with his mother’s passing and the situation surrounding it was guided by the hand of God.

We’ll get to that here shortly. First, it’s important to note that Wendy Lister came from good stock. Her mother and father helped raise JD. JD’s grandfather, Wendy’s father, was the late Harry Nehrig of Bridgeport who many remember for his constant giving to the Bridgeport community and beyond on the emergency services front and more.

“My mother and I have a really cool relationship and it’s a result of how I was raised. In those early years, we had what would be like a friendship relationship and it wasn’t a bad thing,” said Lister. “After my grandfather passed away, we bonded on a different level. We developed and explored our relationship in a different way.

“She was really there for me and I was there for her. I was there when her mother, my grandmother, passed when I was just eight years old,” Lister continued.  “When my grandpa passed away, it was hard on both of us. We lived together for a while after that and leaned on each other from that day forward. Since that time we talked almost every day and communicated with each other every day and had I guess what you want and that’s a pretty perfect relationship.”

Last Saturday morning, that all ended. At least it ended as it had existed.
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