John Lister: 'Lonely' Norfolk man sent 15,000 cards and gifts dies

image captionJohn Lister and his wife Ella pictured at the Norfolk care home had been married for 70 years before she died

A 101-year-old veteran who received thousands of Christmas cards and gifts from around the world after speaking about the loss of his wife, has died.

John Lister and his wife Ella were married for 70 years before she died from coronavirus in March.

His care home in Norfolk said the cards helped him get through his first Christmas without her.

Mr Lister, a former artillery man of the D-Day landings, died in hospital last week.

Appearing on BBC Breakfast, the care home asked people to send his Christmas cards to make him smile again.

image captionJohn Lister and his wife Ella on their wedding day

Mr Lister received more than 15,000 cards and presents.

One well-wisher's message said: "Dear John, We saw you on Breakfast TV and thought we could send you a card to cheer you up.

"Christmas is a very difficult time for lots of people. Sending hugs."

His carers said he was deeply moved by the cards and gifts and would read them until late at night.

"I just thank people, that's all I can do," he said.

image captionJohn Lister said he felt lonely after his wife died of Covid in March

His carer, Marcia Hughes said Mr Lister was "a great gentleman" and his death had been a "very, very upsetting time for everybody".

She said: "It was quite a shock to hear people's love, stories and own troubles through these cards."

image captionJohn Lister and his carer read a card sent from a well wisher

Ms Hughes added: "He described himself as elated by the messages he saw in the cards, from children, people from his older generation as well.

"He was just so touched by everybody's thought's and well wishes."

The couple moved into the home in 2019.

Binu Augustine, manager of Thorp House Care Home in Watton, near Norwich, said: "John was and still is an inspiration to all of us.

"He touched so many of us during his stay with us."

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