Obituary | St. Louis Public Radio

Obituary

Queen D. Fowler
Fowler family

Queen Dunlop Fowler, a renowned educator who became the first black woman to serve as a superintendent of schools in Missouri, died on Friday, July 20 of Alzheimer’s disease at her home in University City. She was 84.

Services will be Friday, Aug. 3 at St. Alphonsus “Rock” Liguori Church.

Robert G. Lowery served as both the police chief and the mayor of Florissant.
City of Florissant

Robert G. Lowery Sr., the former police chief and mayor of Florissant, died Monday night at the age of 79.

He started his policing career at the age of 16 as a call-box operator for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. He began his work in Florissant in 1961, when he served as a patrolman for the city’s police department. He eventually became a detective and was instrumental in forming the city’s first detective bureau in 1963.

Red Schoendienst, Cardinal great, dies at 95.
Ron Lewis

Baseball Hall of Famer and former Cardinal player and manager Red Schoendienst, who overcame a severe eye injury and tuberculosis to play major-league baseball for 19 years and managed the St. Louis Cardinals to two National League pennants and a world championship, died Wednesday. He was 95.

Albert Fred Schoendienst, born Feb. 2, 1923, was the most famous native of Germantown, Illinois, a village of less than a square mile in southern Illinois. With his curly red hair and freckles, Mr. Schoendienst was soon known only as “Red."

Gerry Rohde
Erin Gerrity | Washington University

St. Louis Public Radio is mourning the loss today of one of our own. Gerry Rohde, our longtime evening host has died. He was 55.

His body was discovered this morning in the stockroom at the biology department at Washington University where he worked during the day as stockroom manager and lab safety officer. The cause of death is unknown at this time.

The day I met Carl Kasell, in 1998, he just reached out and shook my hand and said my name. And then he said it again. I think he knew how exciting it is for all of us public radio nerds to hear your name, spoken by that voice, and he wanted to give me a gift.

I met Carl when he was in his early 60s, already an institution in the news business, at an age when he could think about retiring. But instead, he started a second career.

Eric Vickers headshot
St. Louis American

Eric Vickers, the provocative, complex and controversial attorney and civil rights activist who defended causes and clients on both sides of the Mississippi, has died. He was 65.

His mantra was "litigating, agitating and negotiating."

In 1999, Vickers orchestrated an event that required plenty of agitating and negotiating.

He helped shutdown Interstate 70 to protest the dearth of African-Americans hired to work on highway projects.

ALIVE Magazine

William H.T. “Bucky” Bush, a St. Louis native and brother of former President George H. W. Bush, has died at his home in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Bucky Bush was the uncle of former President George W. Bush.

Bucky Bush was 79 at the time of his death Tuesday.  

State Rep. Keith English isn't seeking re-election. The Florissant Independent left the Democratic caucus earlier this year.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Former state Rep. Keith English, who had represented the north St. Louis County area for two terms as a Democrat and an independent, has died.

State Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh, a Democrat from Bellefontaine Neighbors, said Wednesday that she had learned of his death in the morning from his relatives.

Dennis Edwards with the Temptations in a 1968 publicity photo.
Bernie Ilson, Inc., Publicity for Motown Records & The Ed Sullivan Show

When Dennis Edwards was tapped to fill the flashy suit of a well-known lead singer in one of the hottest male soul groups in music history, he hesitated. The Temptations needed him to replace David Ruffin, who had established himself as the undisputed voice of romance with lush ballads that included what would become the group’s signature song: “My Girl.”

“I went home and it wasn’t but about 10 minutes,” Edwards said, during a 2011 interview with Fox2 News. “I said I would love to try out.”

Dr. Bernard C. Randolph Sr.
Randolph family photo

Dr. Bernard C. Randolph Sr., a civil rights leader and a member of a small, tight-knit cadre of African-American doctors in St. Louis who began their practices during segregation, died this week.

Randolph, who sought and found myriad ways to blend medicine and activism, died of pneumonia on Saturday at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. He was 95.

Frankie Muse Freeman at a gathering of local civil rights activists in 2014
Stephanie Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Jan. 17, 2018 with funeral information

Frankie Freeman’s career as a criminal defense lawyer didn’t last long.

Freeman, who died Friday at age 101, was best known for her work on civil rights, housing and education. But starting out, she took any kind of case she could get.

Norm White dedicated his life to changing the way people viewed children "immersed in risk."
File |Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

Saint Louis University criminal justice professor and Ferguson activist Norman White died suddenly of a heart attack on Wednesday. He was 64.

He and his wife Elizabeth “Liz” White were getting ready to leave their Belleville home for an evening rehearsal of a Christmas play they were performing in when he had the attack and died soon afterwards.

White, a New York native, called himself a “developmental criminologist,” and he spent his life working to change the way people viewed and treated children who are “immersed in risk,” as he phrased it.

Sister Mary Antona Ebo, a pioneering woman in the Catholic Church, died Nov 11, 2017
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

Updated at 3:40 p.m., Nov. 13 with information on services — Sister Mary Antona Ebo, one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most reluctant but eventually most powerful converts to the civil rights movement, died Saturday. She was 93.

When King called on the nation’s religious leaders to join the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights march, Sister Ebo was a Franciscan Sisters of Mary nun in St. Louis. She was aware that hundreds of earlier marchers had been beaten bloody by Alabama state troopers and one, a young, white minister named James Reeb, had died of his injuries.

But she answered the call.

Robert Guillaume, Groundbreaking Emmy Winner In 'Soap,' 'Benson,' Dies

Oct 25, 2017

Actor Robert Guillaume, who became the first black actor to win comedy Emmys for playing sharp-tongued butler turned lieutenant governor Benson DuBois on Soap and its spinoff, Benson, died Tuesday at age 89.

Head shot of Chuck Knight
Fleishman-Hillard

Charles F. Knight, whose forceful personality and business acumen transformed Emerson from a successful, domestic manufacturer of motorized electrical products to a global technology giant, has died. He was 81.

When he was named CEO of Emerson at age 37 in 1973, he became the youngest person to lead a billion-dollar company. He retired nearly three decades later and had helped convert Emerson into a company that had more than $15 billion in annual revenue.

The Rev. Carlton Lee, right, speaks at a rally in 2014 with Michael Brown Sr., left, and Lezley McSpadden, center.
File Photo |Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

“God is not going to judge you by your behavior in heaven. He’s going to judge you by what you did on earth,” The Rev. Al Sharpton said at the funeral for Michael Brown in August of 2014 at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church.

“He will say, ‘when Michael Brown, an 18-year-old boy, laid out in the streets of Ferguson — what did you do? What did I require of you?”

The Rev. Carlton Lee, senior pastor of The Flood Christian Church, was among the first to take action after Brown was fatally shot by a police officer.

On Tuesday, June 13, Lee died suddenly from an apparent heart attack. He was 34.

Patricia McKissack
Photo provided | The St. Louis American

With the death of Patricia McKissack on Friday, the world lost the surviving partner of one of the most prolific duos in literature.

McKissack suffered a heart attack and was taken to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead. She was 72.

Patricia McKissack and her husband, Fredrick McKissack embarked on their collaborative literary lives nearly 35 years ago, with the intention of being the change they wanted to see. The couple decided that little black boys and girls deserved positive images of themselves and a broad scope of their people’s rich history as they turned the pages of books.

Pallbearers guide the casket of Chuck Berry out of The Pageant following a viewing and celebration of life event for the rock 'n' roll legend and St. Louis native. (April 9, 2017)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A line of fans formed around the block outside the Pageant Theater in the Delmar Loop Sunday to say goodbye to rock 'n'roll legend and St. Louis native Chuck Berry.

They joined a capacity crowd of dignitaries, family and friends inside for a funeral that broke the mold — much like the legendary entertainer himself.

Chuck Berry
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File Photo

Upated March 29 — The funeral  for Chuck Berry will take place on April 9. A visitation open to the public will be held from 8 a.m. to noon at The Pageant Concert Club, 6161. Delmar Blvd., St. Louis.

It will be followed by a closed funeral service for family and close friends.

Berry, the legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist who duck-walked his way into rock and roll history, died March 18. He was 90.

Peter Sortino
Provided by the Sortino family

Peter Sortino planned a 100th birthday bash for St. Louis that would go on for days and draw thousands of guests, but his name was largely unknown to most who attended.

EATS Bridge, ’04 Eve and River Splash are the enduring memories that most St. Louisans have of the 1904 World’s Fair centennial celebration. Mr. Sortino was the director of St. Louis 2004, which planned the festivities and, later, the Danforth Foundation, which launched the initiative.

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