Gloria S. Ross

Gloria S. Ross is the head of Okara Communications and AfterWords, an obituary-writing and design service.

The Rev. Jerry Paul
Provided by the Deaconess Foundation

St. Louis was named one of the nation’s 100 best cities for children in 2005 by the national organization, America's Promise Alliance. The Rev. Jerry Paul, then head of the Deaconess Foundation, balked at the commendation. The Rev. Paul died unexpectedly on Wednesday (May 20) at his home in O'Fallon, Ill., after a brief battle with liver cancer. He was 65.

Dianne White, as she was professionally known, at work at KSDK
St. Louis Media History Foundation

As the tumultuous ’60s descended upon the nation, Dianne White Clatto emerged unwittingly and unceremoniously as St. Louis’ own embodiment of civil rights history.

Gene Lynn on his balcony at home
Provided by the family

Gene Lynn, with a baritone voice that was as smoky as the nightclubs he owned for more than three decades, was one of the brightest lights of the St. Louis entertainment mecca known as Gaslight Square in the ’60s.

Clark Terry
Facebook | with permission

Legendary jazz trumpeter Clark Terry, who for more than seven decades performed with the audacity of a riverboat gambler to practiced perfection, has died. He was 94.

Otis Woodard
Provided by the family

Otis Woodard said he saw Martin Luther King Jr.’s foot sticking through the second floor railing of the Lorraine Motel moments after King was slain on April 4, 1968. During a 2011 speech, Mr. Woodard recalled being “one of those little guys” who was in Memphis with Dr. King.

“It was such an exciting and scary time,” he said. “I left Memphis to hide.”

David B. Gray obituary
Provided by Washington University

David Gray, a scientist who relentlessly championed the right of people with disabilities to live independent, satisfying lives, has died.

Mr. Gray, a professor of neurology and occupational therapy at Washington University School of Medicine, wanted much more for others than had been available to him after he fell and broke his neck during the summer of 1976. It left him a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down.

Lincoln Diuguid reads to a grandchild.
Provided by the family

Lincoln Diuguid, an African American who was born as the brutality of slavery was rapidly being replaced by the yoke of Jim Crow, was warned that it was fruitless to pursue his dream of becoming a scientist.

The discouraging words had the opposite effect on him.

“It's a good stimulus,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2007, shortly after his 90th birthday. “It keeps you moving ahead.”

Jo Ann Harmon Arnold
Provided by the St. Louis Zoo

Jo Ann Harmon Arnold rose from temporary secretary to top executive at Emerson Electric Co. More than three decades after her arrival, she explained why she stayed.

“Interesting, challenging work to do with a lot of responsibility is a hard combination to walk away from,” she told the St. Louis Business Journal in 1999.

She began in Emerson’s human resources department. As she moved steadily through the ranks, Mrs. Arnold said each opportunity seemed “more exciting than the next.”

James Dennis "Jeigh" Singleton receives the first achievement award at St. Louis Fashion Week.
Whitney Curtis | WUSTL

Jeigh Singleton joyously accepted the “burden” of being a fashion guru. He created clothes for the country-club set, church-going folk, showgirls, theater companies and items suitable for framing, all while teaching generations of Washington University design students to do the same. Mr. Singleton died Sunday in his hometown of Plaquemine, La., one day past his 70th birthday.

His guiding design principle he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1992, was “The stuff must sell. Period.” But Mr. Singleton, never one for reticence, ignored his own punctuation and continued.

Jan Polizzi
Provided by the family

For 12 years, Jan Polizzi was a nurse in pediatric intensive care units. That was as long as she could take it.

''I still recall the first child that I ever lost,'' she said in a 1988 St. Louis Post-Dispatch story. ''I dressed and bathed him and got him his favorite toys. I learned to love that kid and his family.''

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