San Francisco Chronicle - (Sunday)
Gwyneth Jean (Bond) Lister
8/31/1929 – 4/20/2021
Gwyneth Jean (Bond) Lister was born on August 31, 1929 in San Francisco, California to Dolores (Hickey) and Douglas Bond, who were high school sweethearts. She grew up in San Bruno, CA with her mother and stepfather, Joseph Bettancourt. She spent many summers in Petaluma with her grandparents, Pearl (Howard) and Maurice Hickey and visiting with her relatives in the Bond family. It was during a visit with her grandparents that she decided to trade piano studies for accordion lessons.
As a 3rd generation Northern Californian, Gwyn had a keen interest in California history all of her life, including past membership in the Daughters of the Golden West. One of her favorite childhood memories was going to the World’s Fair in San Francisco, 1939-1940. Besides childhood friends from her San Bruno neighborhood, she maintained lifelong friendships with her classmates from Mercy high school in Burlingame and St Mary’s Nursing School in San Francisco. She chose to convert to Roman Catholicism when she was a freshman at Mercy high.
During Nursing school, Gwyneth met Harold Lister and they married 10/1/1950. Four children followed: John in 1951, Pamela in 1956, Matthew in 1960, and Jeffrey in 1962. As a family, they lived in Burlingame, San Rafael, and Corte Madera. They spent time enjoying swimming, tennis, boating, golf and there was always music. Gwyn continued her nursing career while raising a family, working in the emergency room and cardiac care at Mills Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame. After the move to Marin, she had nursing positions in home healthcare, a doctor’s office, and opening the hospital at the Tamalpias senior residence. Her humble start as the part time education coordinator at the Marin chapter of the American Cancer Society grew to becoming the Executive Director, while she returned to school to complete her nursing degree at Dominican College in San Rafael. After her divorce, she graduated with honors and an MBA degree from Golden Gate University, followed by studies at the School of Philanthropy, based in Indiana. Along with authoring a book on Fundraising and creating a successful fundraising business (AIM, accelerated income methods), she enjoyed teaching for the School of Philanthropy, Golden Gate University, and University of San Francisco.
On a short trip, Gwyn was impressed with the local bands in a parade in Chicago and was inspired to come home and found the Corte Madera Town Band so they could participate in the town’s 4th of July Parade. (The Corte Madera Band is celebrating 25 years this year.) Gwyn played accordion in the Town Band original ensemble. Since Gwyn’s longtime friend Nina Brandt played the saxophone, Gwyn also began playing saxophone and switched to playing sax in the town band. Meanwhile, her accordion activities grew from family Christmas caroling to participation in accordion orchestras and accordion camps, along with playing at senior venues in the community. She was delighted when her children, John & Pamela, joined her accordion adventures.
Community activities have included volunteering with the Board of Arts+ Bayside MLK Jr Foundation, St Vincent de Paul, and her local parish (St Patrick’s and St Anselm’s). The Osher classes at Dominican offered her another way to continue to satisfy her desire to learn and share new information into her 90’s. Gardening, music, reading, and being in and near the water were always a joy in her life. Gwyneth is survived by children, grandchildren and a great grandchild. John & Renee’s children are Eric, Lauren (daughter Charlotte with Kevin Menchavez), & Michael. Pamela’s children are Kyrin & Joseph (with Craig Reisinger). Jeffrey’s child is Amanda (with Sibyl Locke Lister). Gwyneth was preceded in death by her parents, Dolores (Hickey) Bettancourt, Joseph Bettancourt, and Douglas Bond; her son, Matthew Lister; and dear friend, Nina Brandt. Gwyn was surrounded by the love of her family & friends during her brief illness, as she passed from this existence to eternal life.
Should friends desire, contributions may be made to The Corte Madera Community Foundation. Due to COVID restrictions, close friends can contact the family about the funeral service. A reception for her friends and family will be held at her house at 3pm on Tuesday, April 27th.