In Memory

Drew Baur

                  Drew Baur                 1944-2011

Drew was born on April 23, 1944 and was soon diagnosed with nephritis, an often fatal disease that attacks the kidneys.  Although he survived its initial onslaught, it weakened his immune system for the rest of his life.  It would have slowed down most people, but not Drew.  Because he knew that his time was potentially limited, he lived as though all joy and accomplishments had to be relished in the moment. At Country Day, he excelled in tennis, lettering for three years and, with Fred Taussig, winning the district doubles and competing in the state tournament.

He had graduated from Washington and Lee in 1966 and briefly worked in Atlanta before he came back to St. Louis as a young banker.  In 1985 he led a group that bought Southwest Bank, where he became Chairman.  Over the next 16 years, the bank grew from $150 million in assets to $2 ½ billion when it was sold.  It was considered the premier local bank during this time.  He also served on many local civic and charitable boards. 

In 1994, Drew and a small group of mostly Country Day alumni bought the St. Louis Cardinals and the franchise soon became one of the winningest in baseball.  On any given night, Drew could be seen in the owner’s box smoking his renowned cigar and cheering on the Birds, because he was their biggest fan.

Of his many fine attributes, generosity was one of his best.  He was always willing to take friends to play golf at exotic places where he was a member, such as Augusta National or Seminole. You were always welcome to stay at one of his houses in St. Louis, Michigan or Florida.  Ballgame tickets were always available. He also was very loyal to his friends , and extended   many acts of kindness that were rarely known .

Drew’s  high speed lust for life was legendary.  He   felt sleep slowed him down, because there was always too much to be done.  A few years ago he had a week to remember.  At the beginning, he caught a world record marlin in the Indian Ocean.  Two days later he sold Southwest Bank for a  tremendous sum,  making many  investors and employees  well set for life. At the end of the week he saw grandchildren born in St. Louis and Richmond, Va.  When asked by an unknowing acquaintance how his week went, Drew replied..”Not bad …..I only got three speeding tickets and one cop never caught up with me.”

But Drew’s never-ending quest for achievement, action and a good time took its toll.  Nephritis was wearing away his kidneys, and he needed a transplant.  His sister Barbara donated one of hers.  It gave Drew a new lease on life for a few more years.  But this was a temporary fix, and the long sleep he had   fought and outrun caught up with him last February, when a heart attack took him away. He leaves two sons, Andrew and Todd; a daughter, Mackay; his former wife Kitty, and seven grandchildren.

He was extremely fond of our class and looked forward to our 50th with glee. But he was worried about his health and  prematurely gave an extremely large amount to be the foundation of our class gift “just in case.”  And the inevitable happened.   

Drew may be gone, but he is with us in spirit…………..and we will miss him.

  -- Submitted by Denny Niedringhaus


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11/21/11 09:34 PM #1    

Charlie Homeyer

 My personal favorite Drew Baur story originates, I think, in the winter of our senior year.  Drew was such devoted sports fan, and it was Missouri state basketball tournament time.  There was a big tourney game one night between two city powerhouses:  Soldan and Vashon or something like that, played at one of their gyms in the inner city.  From his home  in what was then the most western reaches of the suburbs Drew borrowed a family car and drove downtown to find the gym.  (I don't know if he told his parents that he was going to the library or what.)  Drew found the place.  When he got inside the gym it was crammed full of people.  They were practically hanging from the rafters.  It was 1961 or '62 in St. Louis, and the seventeen year old from Country Day panicked a little.  You see, among all those hundreds and hundreds of faces in that gym packed with humanity he could see only one other white face courtside.  Drew made his way down there and introduced himself.  The older man responded, "Glad to meet you.  I'm Bob Broeg (sports editor of the Post-Dispatch).

I love that Drew told this story on himself.  I admire his determination and bravery.  I laugh every time I think of him meeting Bob Broeg in this way and in this setting.  Good for you, Drew Baur, all around.  I hope it was a good game.

10/27/12 02:36 AM #2    

Steve Lord

Drew was my best friend growing up as a child, we were next door neighbors. We were in a gang with Sandy Primm and Jim Grove. At age 8 we were one  ornery gang, LOL. Yes he did seem to love life. I'll tell you one thing, building a bank from 150 million to 2 and a half billion as I just am reading above takes one hell of a banker.  And yes he adored the Cardinals as I did growing up, and I was so interested when he and Dewitt and Hanser , all of Bus 5, bought the team. I think they have proved that how good a team is is much dependent on who the owners are.  I wonder who Drew left the team to.  His tennis serve was so powerful you had to stand about ten feet in back of the baseline to have a chance of returning it, once he got to be 6 feet, six inches. I think he was only 6'3'' at Country Day.  A vivid personality and one of the most natural people you will ever meet.

10/27/12 03:11 AM #3    

Steve Lord

Ha ha Charley Homeyer, liked your Drew Baur Vashon story, reminds me that I used to go to that large nightclub in East St Louis where Jimmy Reed etc played, was it London House East?,I think some of you have gone thre, and I was about the only white face and everyone was drunk. Took Helen Youngblood with me once where her gardener tried to put the make on her. . Jimmy Reed once grabbed my drink , drank it down and immediately passed out cold and couldnt do his show as they carried him to his  car unconconscious.. My enjoyment one evening was somewhat  muted by being held up at gun point after agreeing at two in the morning to give two black fellows a ride, Another harrowing experience was when Gig Gger , Tom Cole and I went to a 3 AM crap game in the basement of a private house in the downtown black neighborhood, we being the only whites in a room full of people. I guess we were all nuts in those days.

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