Gloria S. Ross

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

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Obituary
6:48 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Jan Crandall Polizzi: Former State Representative Was Proud To Be Called Nurse

Jan Polizzi
Credit 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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Retired Circuit Judge
11:33 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Michael B. Calvin: Judge Had The Gift Of Persuasion; A Reputation For Fairness

Judge Michael Calvin
Credit Provided nby Spencer Fane Britt & Browne

On Nov. 7, 2000, Missourians elected incumbent Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan, who had died in a plane crash three weeks earlier. He defeated his Republican rival, John Ashcroft, for a U.S. Senate seat.

Some cried foul. The St. Louis circuit attorney called in the FBI to investigate allegations of voter fraud.

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Obituary
11:10 am
Sun November 9, 2014

Murray Harold Blumenfeld: Operatic Composer, Professor And German Interpreter

Murray Harold Blumenfeld
Credit Provided

Some of the work of 19th-century French poet Charles Baudelaire garnered him a charge of insulting public decency. Six of his poems, published in "Les Fleurs du Mal" ("Flowers of Evil") in 1857, centered on erotic themes that included lesbian love and vampires. The poems were banned for more than 50 years.

At age 84, composer Harold Blumenfeld elected to record a major new work based on "Les Fleurs du mal." He titled it "Vers Sataniques" or "Satanic Verses."

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Obituary
3:34 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Rosemary Straub Davison: Longtime Activist Put A New, Familiar Face On Old Town Florissant

Rosemary Straub Davison
Credit Provided by the family

In July of 1991, Rosemary Davison took the keys and the deed to a home at 1067 Dunn Rd. in Florissant.

The two-story, red-brick farm house was built around 1860 by a German immigrant who had made his fortune during the California Gold Rush. Now, the house wasn’t fit to live in.

That didn’t matter to Ms. Davison. She wasn’t planning to live there. She was on a rescue mission.

With other members of Historic Florissant Inc., the nonprofit organization she helped found in 1969, Ms. Davison saved Gittemeier House from the wrecking ball.

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Obituary
10:46 am
Thu September 25, 2014

James R. Drake, M.D.: Internist Practiced What He Preached: Happy Health Care

Dr. James R. Drake with students
Credit Provided by Saint Louis University School of Medicine

For the past 20 years, a clinic for St. Louisans who cannot afford basic health care quickly filled with patients every Saturday morning.

On many of those mornings, James R. Drake, M.D., a professor of internal medicine at Saint Louis University and a general internist, supervised medical, social work and physical therapy students at the nation’s only entirely student-run free health clinic.

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Obituary
2:42 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Fred Epstein: He Built Up His Company And The ACLU And Led Both With Aplomb

Fred Epstein, in his office at Indeeco
Credit Provided by the family

Fred Epstein took the reins of the industrial heater factory his father founded in 1929 (just days after the stock market crashed) and adroitly steered it into the 21strst century, all the while giving chunks of time to transform the local ACLU into a formidable organization. He died Wednesday at the age of 79.

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Obituary
11:22 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Davie Lee White: Early Rockabilly Drummer Became A Top Country And Gospel Music DJ

Davie Lee
Credit Provided by the family

Davie White’s father thought his son was a conscientious student who liked rising early to get ready for school. Often, Davie would be up and half-dressed when his father awoke. Andrew White didn’t realize that he was catching his son undressing for bed after a nightclub gig.

“He would sneak out and would just be coming in,” laughed his wife, Lou White. “So, he would have to get dressed again and go to school without any sleep.”

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Obituary
1:48 am
Wed August 6, 2014

John Britton: Missouri Super-Lobbyist Convinced Generations Of Legislators To See Things His Way

John Britton
Credit Provided by Jennifer Durham

In recent years, Missouri lobbyist John Britton, who single-handedly thwarted innumerable attempts to enact laws that would put additional limits on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, made a late-in-life health concession: He went from smoking five packs a day to three.

In the early days, he was a Benson and Hedges man. He later switched to Camels, but recently he favored organic cigarettes and was smoking even less.

“He’d cut down to a pack and a half a day in the past six months,” laughed Jennifer Durham, his colleague for 46 years.

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Obituary
10:30 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Steven J. DeBellis: Self-Proclaimed ‘Screwball Entrepreneur’ Was Local Historian, Preservationist

Steve DeBellis
Credit Provided by the family

Steve DeBellis, the deliberately eccentric publisher of a tabloid that reported decades-old stories as if they happened yesterday, under headlines that defied passersby to ignore them, died Saturday.

Typical of Mr. DeBellis’ wit and dramatic flair was a World War II story about a surprise attack on skinny-dipping Germans headlined “Greeks Battle Nude Nazis.” The story appeared in the first edition in 1986 of The St. Louis Enquirer, renamed The St. Louis Globe-Democrat after the daily’s demise.

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Obituary
7:37 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Cindy Gilberg: Horticulturalist Helped Change The Way St. Louisans Plant Gardens

Cindy Gilberg, working on a rain garden she designed
Credit Deer Creek Watershed Alliance

Cindy Gilberg’s natural habitat was a garden. Preferably, one filled with native perennials.

Growing up in St. Louis, she spent much of her time exploring Shaw Nature Reserve. The love of the place, she wrote, brought her back as an adult and horticulturist “to work and share with others the possibilities of native landscaping and the joy of natural areas.”

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture, Ms. Gilberg fine-tuned her skills as the co-owner with her husband, Doug, of a Wildwood nursery for nearly three decades.

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