Tag: obituary

Eugene J. Mackey III, founder of Mackey Mitchell Architects, died Sunday, November 27, after a long battle with cancer. He was 77.

“Gene was one of our most accomplished and dedicated alumni, serving as an ambassador for architecture and an advisor for the School and the University,” said Carmon Colangelo, the Ralph J. Nagel Dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. “His contributions are profound and lasting, they will resonate as part of the great legacy of the school.”

mackey_550The son of a prominent St. Louis architect, Mackey earned two degrees from Washington University: a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Sciences, in 1960, and a Bachelor of Architecture, in 1962. The following year, he earned a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and in 1966 won Washington University’s James Harrison Steedman Memorial Fellowship in Architecture for study abroad in Europe.

Back in St. Louis, Mackey worked with Murphy & Mackey, a firm founded by his father, Eugene Mackey Jr., and Joseph D. Murphy. (Its projects included Washington University’s Olin Library). But following his father’s untimely death, in 1968, the younger Mackey opened his own one-man office on the 19th floor of the Railway Exchange Building downtown.

“I’m not sure how I found that space,” he later quipped, “but I knew that I wanted to be inspired by a view of the river, and we had a great one.”

Early projects included the Ellisville City Hall and the restoration of the Pershing/DeBaliviere neighborhood as well as major renovations of the Lammert Building, Hotel Majestic, Park Plaza, the Post Office Annex, and the Union Station Office Complex.

Other significant projects included the Gateway Mall Urban Design Study, the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, the Central Institute for the Deaf, Christian Brothers College High School, Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena, renovation of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Spink Pavilion, and the LEED Platinum Alberici Corporate Headquarters building.

As the firm grew, Mackey earned a national reputation as a leader in contextual architecture, creating works that reflect a strong sense of place while demonstrating genuine concern for the traditions and character of their surroundings.

Architecture critic Robert Duffy, writing for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, noted that, “What distinguishes his work is elegance, confidence, gravity, an understanding of the eloquence of understatement, and an appreciation of beauty and utility, along with generosity, humanity, and grace.”

At Washington University, Mackey Mitchell designed and completed dozens of significant projects, beginning with a transformative residential life master plan. Other major works include South 40 House, College Hall, and Eliot House; renovations to Mallinckrodt Center; Knight, Bauer, and Hillman halls, in partnership with MRY Architects; and the firm’s current work on Jubel Hall in collaboration with MRY Architects.

“Gene has been a dear friend, trusted colleague, inspiring mentor, and amazing advocate for the architectural profession,” said Jamie Kolker, University architect and associate vice chancellor for facilities. “He has deepened my understanding of the built environment, always reminding us all to think first about the experience and not the physical. His impact on our community, its individuals, and the profession is deep and will endure forever.”

Mackey twice served as president of AIA St. Louis, the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and in 1991 became a member of the AIA College of Fellows. In 2002, Mackey received a Washington University Distinguished Alumni Award and, in 2007, he joined the National Council of the Sam Fox School. The following year, he received AIA St. Louis’ Gold Honor Award.

“Gene believed that architects have an ethical responsibility to contribute to building a better society, and he showed that in his own work,” said Bruce Lindsey, dean of architecture and E. Desmond Lee Professor for Community Collaboration. “Through his generosity of spirit he mentored a generation of St. Louis architects who are carrying that spirit forward. We will miss him.”

Mackey is survived by his wife, Ann; daughters Elizabeth Perrin of St. Louis and Augustine Shodeen of Dallas; sons Philip Mackey and Eugene Mackey IV of St. Louis; stepchildren Clint Whittemore, Barbie Mattie, and Katie McAllister; and a sister, Ellen Mackey of St. Louis.

This post was previously published on WashU’s The Source

The Olin Business School has lost a very special friend. Gregory A. Fox, MBA’90, a business executive and St. Louis community  leader, died peacefully on Tuesday, February 16, 2016, after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.


Gunther N. Kohn, BSBA ’50, a dear friend and supporter of Olin Business School, a business leader, and a philanthropist, passed away May 16, 2015, at the age of 88.

Gunther Kohn’s story is one of tragedy, courage, and determination. Born to Jewish parents in Berlin in 1926, his mother died when he was 10. While Kohn was attending boarding school, he—along with all Jewish children—was sent back to Berlin in 1938, where he was placed in a Jewish orphanage. Shortly before he was scheduled to be sent to a concentration camp, Kohn was rescued by a family friend,who bought him a ticket on the last ship leaving Germany before war wasdeclared. Kohn, whose sisters had been sent to South America, reunited with his father in New York City after the voyage.

With help from the National Council of Jewish Women, Kohn and his father settled in St. Joseph, Missouri, a few years later. After graduating from high school, Kohn joined the US Army to help his new home country in the war effort. Because he spokenative German, he was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor to the CIA. Kohn found himself back in Berlin, doing undercover work to find war criminals and bring them to justice.

After the war, Kohn relocated to St. Louis and studied accounting at Washington University under the GI Bill. After graduation, he took a job selling business forms and started what would become the Jerome Group, a commercial print and direct mail company. Kohn grew the company to more than 300 employees and sold it in 2006, assuming the position of chairman of the board.

Having lived as a displaced person after the Holocaust, Kohn wanted this story to be told and understood. With his wife Doris, he helped establish the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center in Creve Coeur, Missouri, by contributing to the creation of learning stations that tell the stories of Holocaust survivors.

Gunther and Doris Kohn with their daughter Julie.

Gunther and Doris Kohn with their daughter Julie.

Kohn and his wife Doris have been longtime generous supporters of Olin Business School and were founding sponsors of Olin’s Scholars in Business Scholarship Program.Kohn received a Distinguished Alumni award from Olin Business School in 2000.

His family and many friends have established the Gunther N. Kohn Memorial Scholarship in his honor. If you wish to make a gift in support of this scholarship, please call Nancy Barter at 314-935-9053.

Gunther Kohn is survived by his wife Doris, of 64 years, his daughter Julie (Dan Swift), son Andy (Diana), his sister Rita, and four grandsons.

Image at top: The Kohns help Dean Bob Virgil break ground for Simon Hall in 1984.

This obituary first appeared in the OlinBusiness magazine; read more here.

Tomorrow, the university will fly its flag at half-staff in honor of a great woman and Olin team member. Jill Lustberg, associate director of development for Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, died Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, at her home in St. Louis, Mo., after battling cancer for more than five years. She was 43.

When Lustberg joined the Alumni & Development staff in 2008, she was responsible for leading the business school’s Eliot Society and Annual Fund fundraising initiatives.

“Jill arrived on our campus eager to advance the university’s mission and forge new connections to strengthen our ambitious goals,” said David T. Blasingame, Executive Vice Chancellor for Alumni & Development Programs.  “She surpassed all expectations, turning program possibilities into realities and gaining the trust, respect, and deep admiration of everyone she came to know. We will continue to learn from and honor her example.”

She and her colleagues developed and implemented fundraising strategies that had a significant impact on the Olin School’s annual giving programs and alumni engagement initiatives. In addition to her fundraising responsibilities, Jill managed such programs as the Century Club Speaker Series, Lunch with a Pro, and the Industry Insider’s Mentoring Program.

She also initiated a new program, “Conversations with the Dean,” to better engage alumni

Jill, husband Jason, and daughter Rory.

Jill, husband Jason, and daughter Rory.

with the school through a series of small group discussions with Dean Mahendra Gupta, Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting and Management. “Jill always found a way to bring new friends into the room, and her warm smile and confidence in engaging them infused a new life into our efforts to share the good news about Olin with ever greater numbers of alumni. Jill could connect with people in ways the rest of us envy,” writes Dean Gupta. Jill brought her significant data analytics skills to bear in improving donor retention among Olin annual fund supporters and also in finding new ways of engaging our volunteers and donors.  In each of the four years that Jill managed Olin’s Eliot Society fundraising efforts, the Olin Alumni & Development team exceeded their Eliot Society fundraising goals.

Kirk Wrobley (MBA 1991), past Olin Alumni Board President and chair of Olin’s Eliot Society Membership Committee in the 2010-2011 year, has fond memories of working with Jill.  “I was convinced that people didn’t understand where the money went so we played a Q&A game at the Eliot Kickoff.  The funny part of that was that every answer was ‘Call Jill.’  People learned a lot and had fun, and Jill was always a good sport!”

Jill came to Washington University from the University of Houston where she served as Director of Development in the College of Technology.

“Jill’s passion about her work was evident from the beginning.  She was committed to her volunteers, donors, and colleagues, and always brought creative, new ideas to the table. Jill’s positive energy and zest for life was a gift to us all,”  Pamella A. Henson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni and Development Programs, stated.

Previously she was the Director of Undergraduate Programs and the Coordinator of Student Services in the College of Technology at the University of Houston.  Jill earned her master of arts degree in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education in 1997 from Ball State University, and her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Truman State University in 1993.

“Jill brought an enthusiasm to our team and our work that is irreplaceable. She had an infectious energy that made you want to follow her lead wherever she was going, and every alumnus(a) that Jill touched wanted to spend more time with her. Olin’s alumni network grew stronger and larger through her unique style of engagement,” offered Nancy Barter, senior director for Olin Business School Alumni & Development.

A celebration of Jill’s life and impact will be held on Saturday, November 22, at 10 a.m. at the Alumni House on the Washington University’s Danforth Campus. Memorial Contributions may be made to http://www.razoo.com/story/Jillyslove

Jill is survived by her husband, Jason Lustberg, and their daughter, Rory.