Donald Jay Sher

December 30, 1926April 29, 2021

Donald Jay Sher, 94, of Clayton, passed away at his home Thursday, April 29, 2021. He is survived by his wife Shirley (Barrentine) Sher, son Edward (Fay) Sher of Clayton, daughters Elizabeth (Scott Robinson) Sher of Portland, OR, Alice (Vincent) Riccabona of Earlysville, VA, and Jacqueline Chunn of Clayton, grandchildren Katherine (Jared Serota) Sher, Alexander (Sarah Capungcol) Sher, Jay Riccabona, and Luke Riccabona, great granddaughter Sadie Serota, and brother Byron (Linda, decd.) Sher of Placerville, CA. He is preceded in death by his parents, Louis B. Sher and Jeannette L. Sher and sister Helen (Allen, decd.) Shopmaker.

Donald was born December 30, 1926 in St. Louis, where he graduated from University City High School and Washington University (undergraduate and Law School). He married Shirley in June, 1959, and they established their home in Clayton where they have resided ever since. Donald’s legal career, spanning close to 70 years, began when he joined his father in downtown St. Louis in 1949. Following his father’s death, Don was a solo practitioner, often sharing office space with other attorneys. He was later joined in practice by his son in 1986, with whom he practiced until his retirement from active practice in 1994. After his retirement, he volunteered with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, where he assisted staff attorneys until fully retiring in 2015.

Don has been recognized for his second career in altruism, having received the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri Equal Justice Award in 1999. He was also a LSEM Wall of Justice honoree and Missouri Bar Pro Bono Award recipient in 2001. He was also an Oasis tutor with the Ritenour School District from 2002 - 2011, and a mentor in a Clayton School District program matching middle school students with older adults.

He established and endowed the Donald J. Sher & Shirley B. Sher Washington University Scholar in Law scholarship, and was a regular donor to the Washington University School of Medicine, Section of Endocrine & Oncology Surgery, Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery and the Thomas C. Hulverson/Richard B. Teitelman Center For Justice.

Don was an avid traveler and theater/opera enthusiast, having sponsored and underwritten several plays at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. He was also an accomplished bridge player, having been Washington University’s bridge champion with his partner in 1945, and finishing 2nd in the national tournament that year.

Other passions included the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Habitat for Humanity, St. Louis Public Radio, Springboard to Learning, Grace Hill Settlement House, the Barnes-Jewish Foundation and vacationing annually in Michigan and Aruba. He was also a life member of Congregation Shaare Emeth and the longest tenured member of the Missouri Athletic Club having been a member for 75 years.

A private gravesite service will be held for the family on Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 4:00. That service will also be live streamed on the Berger Memorial Chapel website at

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to remember Donald in a special way may make gifts in his memory to Springboard to Learning, 1310 Papin Street, Suite 402, St. Louis, MO 63103-3132, or a charity of their choice.


  • Private Funeral Service Available via Live Stream

    Sunday, May 2, 2021



Donald Jay Sher

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Cathy Hartmann

May 5, 2021

Donald an Shirley have been life-long supporters of Springboard to Learning. Their kindness and generosity have allowed Springboard to bring Arts and Culture to thousands of under-resourced children. Donald was especially kind in sharing his dear wife Shirley with us every Thursday as she undertook all kinds of volunteer tasks, basically everything but windows. We enjoyed calling and singing to Donald on his birthday. Since his birthday fell when our office was always closed, staff would sing on a joint call from various locations. The timing of the voices all together was always poor but Donald was a good sport and endured even when we sounded like a combination of Doris Day and Lassie. We already miss him. Our prayers are with Shirley and the family.

Mandi Johns

May 4, 2021

Donald was an incredible man. I only had the honor of seeing him once a year in Aruba with his wonderful wife Shirley. Although I only saw him once a year, every time I saw him it was like no time had passed. He was a wonderful listener, possessed knowledge about everything, a wonderful husband to his wife, a loving grandfather and father; he also was patient with my grandfathers political ramblings. I will miss him very, very much.. Aruba won't be the same without him... I am beyond grateful that Don and his wife came into my life as well as my family so many years ago. I will always have him in my heart along with his entire family. "Same time next year"

Melanson Peggy

May 3, 2021

Shirley and rest of Sher family

We are to heart broken to hear of Donald passing. We are going to miss seeing you in Aruba .

Peggy and Rick Melanson ♥️

theodore newman

May 2, 2021

Dear Shirley, Alice, Vince, and the rest of the Sher family,
Don and I shared many good times in Aruba over the past 25 years. I'm going to miss our Missouri to New York political conversations greatly. Rest in peace, my friend. You are sorely missed.
Sincerely, Ted Newman and Felice

Michael Shabsin

May 2, 2021

Don was one of my greatest mentors. He shared his wisdom and humor most every time I had the pleasure of talking with him. To me, he represented wisdom, kindness, humor, honor, and the best kind of person anyone could be. I am grateful to have the good fortune to get to know him while he was here.

Denise Simpson

May 2, 2021

Memories of our many years together flood my mind, all of them wonderful!! He taught me many things, especially how to treat people at the courthouse to get what you needed done!! Ha. I am blessed for having known him. He was an remarkable man. My love to Shirley, Ed, Liz and Alice and the whole Sher family!

Sandy Kaplan

May 2, 2021

My deepest condolences to you and your family at this time of great loss. Don was a very special person and I have such fond memories of you and Don from when I worked at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation. Sending prayers to you during this difficult time.

Shannon Barrentine

May 1, 2021

Uncle Don was an awesome family man. He was so loving and giving to us all. My favorite memories are our many holiday visits in which all members including Grannie Virgie , Grandaddy Moody, Aunt Barbara and her clan, and Dad and our family spent together in their house. It was awesome. It was a house full of love and fun times. It was also the time that we meet Fay. The other memories were made when Dana and I got to go to Eddie and Fay’s wedding. Uncle Donald and everyone were so good to us while we were there. Uncle Donald, we love you and you will be missed.

Lee and Sharon Coulson

May 1, 2021

Aruba will never be the same without Donald. We will miss him so much. He was such a joy and was always entertaining. We are so lucky to have shared some time with Donald and "Lulubell".

A toast of "Jack" and 3 cheers to an exceptional man. We love you Donald

Lee and Sharon Coulson