By Maya Pottiger
On January 26, 2019, Severna Park native Jake Listorti passed away in his sleep.
The 25-year-old was described by many people as “the biggest personality in the room.”
“He was always the life of the party, funny guy. He would always talk to everyone,” said Emily Aderhold, Listorti’s girlfriend of more than five years. “He was just super charismatic and charming.”
At the time of his passing, Listorti was a teacher at Meade High School. He taught Foundations of Technology, as well as classes in the Homeland Security Signature Program. Through the program, Listorti was able to attend the FBI Citizens Academy.
“He was so into it. He’d come home and be like, ‘Oh, my God, guess what I got to teach in class today.’ It would be something neat,” Aderhold said.
Listorti spent a lot of time at Meade, so much time that he and Aderhold would drive to school separately even though they lived together and both worked at Meade.
“I wouldn’t see him until 8 at night because he was at the school chatting with the custodial staff, doing his work, walking around, watching the basketball game,” Aderhold said. “He really lived at Meade. He built a lot of really positive relationships here with students, as well as staff members.”
Outside of the classroom, Listorti previously coached the JV baseball and JV wrestling teams. He also served as the faculty adviser for the Cyber Patriots Club, which placed first and second in their last two competitions.
Though he loved his teaching job, Listorti had big aspirations. He wanted to be the youngest principal in Anne Arundel County. He wanted to be a sketch writer for “Saturday Night Live.” He wanted to start his own business and be an entrepreneur.
“I always told him I could look at him and see his gears going in his head because he was always planning for his next big adventure,” Aderhold said. “He had crazy goals in life.”
Listorti loved “anything that you could get fired up about,” be it sports, music or comedy. Since Aderhold started dating Listorti in 2013, she went to more than 200 concerts with him. Last year, Listorti was a season ticket holder for the Baltimore Orioles. He and his younger brother Andrew often conversed with each other in movie quotes, as they were both movie buffs.
“Jake was all about having a good time and having a smile on his face,” Aderhold said.
Aderhold often made fun of Listorti for being a “mama’s boy.” Listorti would have daily hour-long phone conversations with his mom, who lived 15 minutes away.
Overall, family was important to Listorti, who had four siblings: a half-sister, a brother, a stepbrother and a stepsister.
“He really didn’t waste a moment to let people know that he cared and was thinking about them,” Aderhold said.
Aderhold is a special education teacher at Meade, and she is helping the school community grieve.
“I tell [our students] that now that he’s gone, our job is to bring as much joy into the world as he did and live our lives in a way that he would be proud of us and as impressed with us as we all were of him,” Aderhold said.
Donations can be made in Listorti’s name to Sarah’s House in Fort Meade, which serves underprivileged women and children.