Francis R. Slay, "icon" of St. Louis city politics and father of current St. Louis Mayor, dies at 83 | St. Louis Public Radio

Francis R. Slay, "icon" of St. Louis city politics and father of current St. Louis Mayor, dies at 83

Mar 16, 2011

Francis R. Slay, father to St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay has passed away at age 83. He was suffering from a heart illness.

The elder Slay was deeply involved in St. Louis City politics.

He served as a State Representative during the 1960's, was a 23rd Ward Committeeman for 45 years and served as the city's Recorder of Deeds.

Former Aldermanic President Jim Shrewsbury said Slay's reputation was one of integrity and respect.

"He was simply an icon in St. Louis City politics," Shrewsbury said. "And the one thing I always really respected him for and the thing he was always known for is when he gave his word you could rely on it."

Former Mayor James Conway served in State Legislature with Slay and says his accomplishments were many, including greater inclusion of black politicians.

"He was one of those who led the effort  to make sure that more African Americans were elected to public office across city boundaries, whereas in the past it was very difficult for an African American to get elected to city-wide office," Conway said.

Slay was also involved in the creation of the city's Zoo-Museum district.

Slay was also co-owner of the now-closed Slay's Restaurant, and he managed the Cedars banquet center at St. Raymond's Church.

Together with his wife Anna, the Slays raised 11 children.

Responses to the death of Francis R. Slay:

From Congressman Russ Carnahan:

“I spoke with the Mayor earlier today to extend my heartfelt condolences on the loss of his father.

“Francis Slay, Sr., was a committed member of the Church and the St. Louis community, a stalwart Democrat, and most importantly a dedicated family man.  One thing is for sure – lunch at the Cedars will never be the same without his presence.

“My wife Debra and I have the entire Slay family in our thoughts and prayers.”

From St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green:

“My prayers go out to the Slay family. Francis was a good friend who gave back so much to the St. Louis community. He will be missed by many, but his legacy of public service and charity lives on.”