Coshocton loses oldest veteran and dedicated family man

| December 20, 2018

COSHOCTON – Lister Endsley held many different roles throughout his life, but the one he will be remembered most for is being a family man.

“He was very, very active in the community, but family was the number one thing with him,” said his son Larry Endsley.

Lister passed away on Dec. 14, 2018, at the age of 102.

“Just this past Thanksgiving he was in his walker dancing with one of the great-grandchildren,” Larry said. “Family was most important to him.”

Lister graduated from Keene School in 1934 and farmed with his father in Millcreek Township before enlisting in the United States Army. He served in the Army from September 1942 to November 1945 and was a sergeant in the 115th AAA Gun Battalion, serving as a radar crewman in the European Theatre. Lister saw action in five major battles including the Invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. He received a Purple Heart for injuries incurred in World War II.

“He was the oldest living veteran in Coshocton County and we think in several counties surrounding us,” Larry said. “Dad never talked much about the war, but I remember him saying that he never slept in a bed for over a year. Mostly in pup tents on the ground and many times in a trench. One evening their squad leader told them to dig a trench to sleep in, but they were all too tired. They just slept on top of the ground. They were bombed that night and always dug a trench to sleep in after that.”

Lister was the grand marshal for Keene’s Memorial Day parade many times.

“I think he did that for the last 20 years or so,” Lister said. “In my lifetime I only remember them having three or four grand marshals. The whole family would come to the parade and it would be a reunion for us.”

Lister also was a realtor, insurance agent and owner of the Foster-Endsley Agency, now known as the Endsley Agency, retiring at the age of 96. He started in the business with his uncle and father-in-law and then Larry eventually joined him.

“We never had a disagreement or argument working together,” Larry said. “We always seemed to get along so well. Dad respected everyone and as a result everyone respected Dad. I rarely heard him say anything negative about anyone or anything.”

Eventually Larry’s son Todd joined the family business.

“Grandpa knew the roads in Coshocton probably better than anyone else,” Todd said. “We traveled the back roads taking insurance photos and he could always find the farms and houses out in the country. It was cool to be able to work with him and Dad and have three generations together.”

Lister and Larry also worked together for Keene Emergency Ambulance Service.

“Dad and I helped organize the ambulance service in Coshocton County and manned the Keene squad house,” Larry said. “We had to be able to be there in three minutes time so since we lived so close we did the 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift. We got at least one call a week and some of them were pretty gory. When they closed the squad house and moved to Coshocton Dad and I both retired.”

Lister was a member of Keene United Methodist Church, Keene Hill Grange, Coshocton County Farm Bureau, Coshocton County Board of Realtors, served as a board member of Coshocton Hospital, was a longtime member of the Coshocton County Sr. Fair Board, and was a district supervisor for the Soil Conservation Service. He also had a lifelong passion for agriculture.

“I remember him telling us about taking pigs to the fair and going to 4-H Camp,” Larry said. “My brother and sister and I were active in 4-H, the grandchildren were and now the great-grandchildren are coming of 4-H age.”

Lister leaves behind his wife Lola, who he was married to for almost 73 years, three children, Larry (Tina) Endsley of Coshocton, Linda (Craig) Woods of Marietta, and Rodney Endsley of Dover.

“I will always treasure his kind and gentle ways, his wit, his creativity, how he loved his family, our mother, his children, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, his friends, his work, and his church and community,” Linda said.

Rodney added, “Dad did not have to tell you what was right and wrong in life,” he said. “You learned by the way he lived his life.”

In addition to his three children, Lister also had seven grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

“Three to four years ago he was still getting on the floor playing with the kids,” Todd said. “I’m grateful that my kids got to meet him.”

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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