Deceased August 9, 2015

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50th Reunion Book Entry

In Memory

In his obituary in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dave Mesker is described as a “civic-minded Renaissance man, well-read and well-educated, with wide-ranging interests and firm likes and dislikes, known both for his generosity and his distaste for cutting corners.” Dave died Aug. 9. He was 84 and had leukemia.

Dave prepared for Amherst at St. Louis Country Day School. At Amherst he was co-captain of the tennis team and a member of the squash and soccer squads. He lettered in all three sports, a feat unheard-of today. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi.

After college, Dave served in the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps in Germany and then returned to work for the family business, Mesker Brothers Iron Co. In 1962, he joined the A.G. Edwards brokerage firm, where he became vice president for finance and compliance and was assigned to help build the corporation’s art collection.

The St. Louis area benefitted greatly from Dave’s gifts of talent and treasure to its cultural institutions. He was especially proud of his work with the Opera Theater of St. Louis, where he served as board chairman for six years and oversaw a campaign to build an endowment. He also headed the boards of a repertory theater and a sculpture park. At Washington University, he endowed the D.W. Mesker professorship of Asian Art.

Dave lived in the St. Louis suburb of Florissant in a large home with an arboretum and views of the Missouri River.

Dave won the national squash championship in doubles twice in the 1980s and served a year as the president of St. Louis District Tennis. He was a leading force in the development and completion of a tennis center in Forest Park.

George Gates ’53

50th Reunion

Dear Jim,

50 years! It seems as though it was just yesterday that the class of '53 came together for the first time. Then we were full of hope and promise, now the race is largely over. But we are not the same. And that is just fine.

In the blink of an eye, I have gone from student to soldier, to metal bearer, to stock broker, to grass farmer. I have enjoyed them all, perhaps not equally, but sufficiently. Best of all, I can now set my own agenda and not "set my watch by the public clock."

The games seems different from the sidelines as it is easier to see the plays without the direct involvement. You really know you have little to see whereas occasionally before, I thought I might.

In my personal life, I married in 1958 and remain so today with two children and two grandchildren. I spend little time with athletic events and lots of time reading (history, biography) attending culture events, and travel. My friends come with my interests and I seem to have enough to keep me going. I continue to play tennis but have given up squash. The other day I floated down the Missouri river a distance, but I do not smell the salt water - as yet. I have enjoyed the float so far.


David Mesker

David Mesker