WESTON – Julius Lister, loving husband, father and grandfather, loyal friend and mentor, and a dedicated, tireless pediatric surgeon for over 65 years, died peacefully on December 22,2020 at the age of 91, after a valiant fight against COVID-19.
He is predeceased by his beloved wife, Jean, his parents, William and Esther, and his siblings, Betty and Albert. He is survived by his four children, Amy and her husband Joseph, David and his wife Jessica, James and his wife Carol, and Jennifer and her husband Anthony, his six grandchildren, Jeremy, Sydney, William, Olivia, Charles, and Charlotte, his many nieces and nephews, his second wife Marysia, and his beloved French Bulldog, Sam.
Raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jules graduated from the University of Pennsylvania at the age of 19 and completed medical school at Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia. He served as an Officer in the US Navy at the end of the Korean War as a flight surgeon, completing tours on several aircraft carriers including the USS Intrepid.
After completing training in General Surgery in Iowa City, Jules returned to Philadelphia to train in Pediatric Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHoP) under C. Everett Koop. Dr. Koop introduced Jules to Jean Jenkins, a Welsh nurse who arrived in Philadelphia in 1961 from Liverpool, England, to assist with the development of a neonatal surgical unit at CHoP. They met soon after Jean’s arrival and married a few months later.
Jean was the love of his life, until her passing in 1991. Jules and Jean moved to Boston in 1962 and to Weston, soon thereafter. Their four children arrived over the next 6 years.
Jules worked at several hospitals through the years, including Tufts, Boston Children’s, and UMass.
After establishing a private practice in pediatric surgery, he was based at the Framingham Union Hospital, now MetroWest Medical Center, where he practiced for 50 years until his retirement at age 87.
Throughout his life, Jules was deeply devoted to his family. He was a loving and supportive husband and father who set lofty standards and encouraged high achievement, ending family visits and phone calls with his customary entreaty, “work hard, do well, and be good”. Known for his sharp wit, great mind, and humor, Jules was a warm and loyal friend to many. He shared his youthful exuberance, his intellect, his optimism, his curiosity, and his zest for life with each person with whom he connected throughout his life’s rich journey. He was well-known for his enthusiastic singing in the operating room, for his silly puns and nicknames, and for his love of skiing, which he pursued well into his 80s. He had a passion for traveling the world and had a thirst to experience as much of life as possible. He loved visiting London, Paris, North Wales, and Tuscany and relished his many ski trips to St. Moritz, St. Anton, Aspen and Beaver Creek.
Whatever Jules did, he did with elegance, style and grace. He attended cooking school in France, studied French, Portuguese and Italian, enrolled in Harvard extension classes, read voraciously, and loved culture and the arts. He was a Patron of the Metropolitan Opera and traveled frequently to New York City to attend the opera and visit family.
Jules was a beloved member of the congregation at St. Peter’s Church in Weston for more than 45 years.
He was a longtime member of the Weston Golf Club, the Somerset Club in Boston, and the Skating Club of Boston. Jules lived a rich, full life and it is fitting that his three-year-old granddaughter, Charlotte, upon hearing that her grandfather had gone to Heaven, looked up to the skies and said “Opa is living in a castle in the clouds”.
Due to the current pandemic, burial on December 29 will be private.
A celebration of Jules’ life will be planned for a future date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jules’ memory may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Make a Memorial Donation – JDRF) or to a charity of your choosing.
Arrangements by George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Homes in Wellesley.