Death | St. Louis Public Radio

Death

Curious Louis question-asker Rachel Duncan, left, and St. Louis Public Radio reporter Shahla Farzan, center, speak with Bill Houston of the Saint Louis Zoo.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Rachel Duncan doesn’t remember the first time she visted the St. Louis Zoo, but she’s pretty sure she was an infant.

“There’s not a summer in my life that I have not come to visit the St. Louis Zoo and enjoyed what it has to offer,” said Duncan. “It’s a part of my entire life.”

Like many St. Louisans, she feels personally connected to the animals at the zoo. That prompted her to ask our Curious Louis reporting series: What happens when an animal passes away at the zoo? Do they have a funeral? And how does it impact the workers?


Cassandra Pace, center, teaches Sarah Wright-Aholt and Kristin Carlson how to skin a rat at her Creaky Crow taxidermy class.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louisans looking for a new date night activity can add taxidermy to the list.

The Creaky Crow, a four-month-old curiosity shop on Cherokee Street, now offers hands-on taxidermy classes. Aspiring taxidermists learn the basics of animal preservation, from skinning to stuffing, while enjoying a glass of wine.

 


Diane Rehm
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Famed NPR host Diane Rehm has not scaled back the magnitude of the issues she is tackling after she announced her planned retirement from behind the microphone earlier this year. In fact, she is taking on one of the most difficult topics for most of us to talk about: death.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ruthanddave/412229675/in/photolist-CqMwc-4bPyGE-jXFXLR-asFqCy-95iTDe-pK1D1g-7zob7o-kfNWn-eeGx2B-8UZP8d-7trjA4-d3icXY-aCHxAV-eShUWp-pVSjEX-4SknrF-rBR7xx-aQMbzK-wNFRuG-rBR8jT-6TvTzd-rBR5gj-b8kida-rBR7YJ-8pLFdT-5yusgx-4WhP1D-5w9
Ruth Hartnup, Flickr, Creative Commons

Jake, a caller from St. Louis during Tuesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” had a question that is, plain and simple, a hard one to ask when looking at end-of-life decisions with no one else to turn to.

“I am the last surviving member of my family,” said Jake. “Having no friends or family, what happens to my things? What happens to me?”

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich appears on St. Louis Public Radio's 'Politically Speaking' podcast in 2013.
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Beacon

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich died Thursday; he was 54.

In June 2003, Schweich was a guest on “St. Louis on the Air,” hosted by Mike Sampson. At the time, Schweich was partner at Bryan Cave, Missouri’s oldest law firm, where he helped manage internal audits and investigations for large companies. Schweich also had published a book, “Staying Power: 30 Secrets Invincible Executives Use for Getting to the Top — and Staying There.”

Fourth heat-related death reported in St. Louis

Jul 25, 2011
(via Flickr/Christian Haugen)

The City of St. Louis Department of Health has reported its fourth heat-related death of this year.

An 86-year-old woman was found by family members at her residence in the 4500 block of Red Bud on July 23. The residence had window air conditioning units, but they were not functioning properly.

The Department of Health said that the family members reportedly checked on the woman every day.

If you, or someone you know does not have an air conditioner or needs energy assistance, the Health Department recommends calling the United Way at 1-800-427-4626 or 211 if calling from a land line phone.  Assistance can also be obtained by contacting Cool Down St. Louis at 314-241-7668, the Department of Health said.

S. Ill. coroner blames heat in 2 more deaths

Jul 21, 2011
(via Flickr/Christian Haugen)

A coroner in southwestern Illinois says the heat wave gripping the region is blamed in two deaths.

St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that both men were found dead Wednesday night.

The body of 72-year-old Willie Gill of East St. Louis was found in a ditch near a home where he occasionally stayed. Stone described Gill as a transient and said his body temperature was 106.5 degrees.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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.

Report on Adrienne Martin could come this week

Jan 31, 2011
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Toxicology results for Adrienne Martin are back, but officials with the St. Louis County Medical Examiner's office are still evaluating those results as they try to determine what killed her.

Martin was the girlfriend of former Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV. She was found dead at his estate on Dec. 19.

Updated 3:14 p.m. Dec. 23, 2010:

The Associated Press reports that the woman found in Busch's home has been identified.

Police and the St. Louis County medical examiner's office on Thursday identified the victim as Adrienne Martin of St. Charles.

An autopsy has been conducted but results could take 4-6 weeks.

St. Louis County forensic administrator Suzanne McCune says there were no signs of trauma.

From Earlier:

Commentart: The liberty to choose death

Dec 4, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 4, 2008 - Several months ago I watched my mother slip away with both sadness and a selfish concern with my own death.

Toward the end of a long dying, when at last she lay in morphine-induced sleep, I saw not my mother but a corpse struggling to breathe. She was thin, bones I never knew she had protruding sharply from her chest, framing her chin. Her chest would heave slightly with the effort to bring air into her lungs. No other motion.