I started the character list to keep track of who was who. All I did was list first (and last, when known) name and who they were. An example was Robert or "Rob"/"Robbie" as he was known to friends and family. I listed him as the heroine's brother, who is a detective.
I had listed the hero's dad, but no occupation, just his name. In the first part of the story, he was dead, along with his wife. The hero, an only child, had inherited everything. Then later in the story, his dad shows up again as a doctor in the hospital, treating the heroine for injuries received in a car accident. So I now have a zombie character, dead in the first part, alive in the second. My co-workers at the time had quite the laugh because of me.
This year I didn't want a repeat of that so I changed the font color to red for named characters who are either dead before the story starts or going to be killed. This will necessitate several printings of the character list, but that's fine. As long as I can keep track of who is dead and should stay dead, I'll be happy.