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Lady Ava Willing Lister
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Birth: Sep. 15, 1868
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jun. 9, 1958
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA

Ava Lowle Willing Astor Lister was a prominent New York City socialite, first wife of John Jacob Astor IV, descendant of Edward Shippen and second wife of Thomas Lister, 4th Baron of Ribblesdale. Ava Lowle Willing was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Edward Shippen Willing and his wife, the former Alice Barton. She had two siblings, Susan Ridgway Willing (Mrs. Francis Cooper Lawrance, Jr.) and John Rhea Barton Willing. She was a descendant of Edward Shippen, the second mayor of Philadelphia and a chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

She married John Jacob Astor IV in February 1891 in Philadelphia. The newlywed couple was given, among many lavish gifts, a furnished townhouse on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Though the marriage was tumultuous, the Astors had two children, William Vincent, b. Nov 15, 1891, and Ava Alice Muriel ,b. February 1902, . The latter child reportedly was the child of an affair Ava Astor had with a New York society figure surnamed Hatch.

On November 19, 1909, Ava Astor sued her husband for divorce and March 5, 1910 the State of New York decreed in her favor. Their son lived with his father before leaving to attend Harvard College. Their daughter would be raised by her mother. In the second year of Vincent's education, John Jacob became one of the RMS Titanic casualties while returning from his honeymoon with his new bride, Madeleine Talmadge Force. This event left young Vincent as one of the wealthiest men in the United States.

In 1911, Ava Astor and her daughter moved to England where she would become the second wife of Thomas Lister, 4th Baron Ribblesdale, in 1919. Lord Ribblesdale died on October 21, 1925. Ava had no children from her second marriage, and she did not remarry. Though she reclaimed her American citizenship after returning to the United States and announced to the press that she would be known as Mrs. Ribblesdale, she nonetheless continued to be known by her former title.

Lady Ribblesdale died on June 9, 1958 in New York City. She left a token bequest to her son, Vincent, but the bulk of her estate was left to her daughter's four children: Prince Ivan Sergeyevich Obolensky, Princess Sylvia Obolensky, Romana von Hofmannsthal, and Emily Harding.

(Bio By Tyler Hughes) 
Family links: 
  Edward Shippen Willing (1822 - 1906)
  Alice Bell Barton Willing (1833 - 1903)
  John Jacob Astor (1864 - 1912)
  Thomas Lister (1854 - 1925)*
  Vincent Astor (1891 - 1959)*
  Alice Astor Pleydell-Bouverie (1902 - 1956)*
  Susan Ridgeway Willing Lawrence (1862 - 1940)*
  John Rea Barton Willing (1864 - 1913)*
  Ava Willing Lister (1868 - 1958)
*Calculated relationship
Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Created by: John Astor
Record added: Oct 28, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 99713675
Lady Ava <i>Willing</i> Lister
Added by: John Astor
Lady Ava <i>Willing</i> Lister
Added by: John Astor
Lady Ava <i>Willing</i> Lister
Added by: John Astor
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- W.A. (Bill aka Bear) Patterson Jr
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