Eleanor Ann Glass Lister departed this life Tuesday, June 12, 2012, in Bellevue, Idaho, with her family at her side following a long battle with emphysema.
Ellie was born Dec. 29, 1928, in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Jay Walter Glass and Theresa Glass Alden. Growing up in Washington and on the eastern shore of Maryland, she had many interesting stories of her childhood and teenage years during World War II, including air raid drills, blackouts, training as aircraft spotters and field artillery pieces being placed on her high school campus. After venturing to the Midwest for college, Ellie graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute and began work as a commercial artist with Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. She and several friends came to Sun Valley via Union Pacific railroad to work a summer job at the Sun Valley Drug Store after graduation. Like many, she fell in love with this area and never left. With her usual artistic flair, she documented much of her early years in Sun Valley through her paintings and drawings.
She married Johnny Lister in Sun Valley on Sept. 8, 1953, and during their marriage had two children, Evan and David. They were later divorced.
Ellie was always a forward-thinking intellectual. She and her husband, Johnny, along with the Maricichs, Solheims, Solis and others, decided in the early 1960s that Ketchum needed a more eclectic nightspot to provide an alternative to the normal bars in town. The Leadville Espresso House was born in the old steepled church on Leadville Avenue that later became Louie's Pizza. Ketchum in the 1960s was a conservative Western cowboy town, and espresso, imported beers, acoustic folksingers and foreign films were quite a contrast to the established culture and about 20 years ahead of their time.
Ellie also made significant contributions to Ketchum as one of the founding members of the Community Library Association and also served on the first Ketchum Zoning Commission. This was a time when planning and zoning regulations were considered a very dangerous thing that would destroy private property. The work of that first Zoning Commission created the rules that prevent large, exposed neon signs in Ketchum today. The civic work she participated in, however quietly in the background, was always a source of great satisfaction to Ellie.
Ellie's third career was as reference librarian at the Community Library in Ketchum. She was very well read and had the ability help patrons find virtually any information in the pre-Internet era when reference books and interlibrary loans were the primary research sources. Countless friendships were made over the desk and pages at the library she loved so much. Free time often found her buried in the latest bestseller from The New York Times list or educating herself on a new subject with a 300-page hardback that would be completed that same day. Ellie always had an ongoing stack of books she was in the midst of and was an insatiable reader. Retiring from the library did not mean an end to her reading, but did give her the time to start through her accumulated collection.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Evan Lister Stelma (Bart Lassman) of Bellevue; her son and daughter-in-law, David Lister (Carolyn) of Hailey; her three grandsons, Colin (Megan) Stelma of Fairfield, Nick Stelma of Bellevue and Jesse Lister of Pflugerville, Texas; and three great-grandchildren, Ashley and Katie Lister and Alexandra Stelma. Preceding her in death were her parents, her brother and a grandson.
Memorial services will be announced for a date this summer. Arrangements are under the care of Wood River Chapel, Hailey, Idaho.