Deceased August 9, 2015
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