Beverly Lister-Bliss, 54, teacher, stained-glass artist

October 06, 2002

Beverly "Becky" Lister-Bliss, an art teacher and artist who specialized in stained-glass windows for churches, died Wednesday of complications from gastric cancer at University of Maryland's Greenebaum Cancer Center. She was 54.

The Freeland resident was born in Philadelphia and grew up near Media, Pa. She earned a bachelor's degree in art education from Philadelphia College of Art in 1970.

Her personality led her college friends to dub her "Beckett" after playwright Samuel Beckett.

"She had a flair for the dramatic," said her husband, Gilbert Bliss. "They said she was more of a `Beckett' than a `Beverly.'"

Over time, the nickname was shortened to "Becky," which she preferred over her given name.

After graduating, she moved to Bolton Hill and taught art for 12 years in Baltimore public schools, including Harriet Tubman Elementary School.

During those years, Mrs. Lister-Bliss continued to take art courses in various media at the Maryland Institute College of Art, but left teaching in 1982 to study with Saul Farber, a renowned Baltimore glass artist. Some of her work can be seen at the Ames-Sudbrook Methodist Church in Pikesville.

She later taught classes about stained glass at senior centers in Baltimore.

She had lived among Quakers all her life, and in 1979 she met her husband while taking classes in the faith at Homewood Friends Meeting. They celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary this year.

Mrs. Lister-Bliss converted to the faith, or became a Convinced Friend, in 1987 when she was pregnant with her son, Coel, so that he would be a birthright Quaker.

A date has not yet been set for a memorial service, to be held at the Gunpowder Friends Meeting in Sparks.

In addition to her husband and son, she is survived by her mother, Thelma Lewis Lister of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; and brothers Bryon Lister of Cocoa Beach, Fla., and Marshall Lister of Media, Pa.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Greenebaum Cancer Center at the University of Maryland Medical System, 22 S. Greene St., Baltimore 21201.

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