David Brooks Sterrett
March 29, 1935 – April 4, 2018
David Brooks Sterrett lived his life with signature candor and humor that has left an indelible mark on his loving family and friends. He died peacefully on April 4 from a heart attack after enduring years of decline from dementia. Dave spent his career as an Army Officer, an international banker, and a small business owner. He was loyal to the Illini right to the end, treasuring his days as a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He met his best friend and beloved wife of sixty years, Midge Becherer, when they were seniors at New Trier High School. Their great joy was raising four children. He was born in Kenilworth, Illinois to Dave and Marcellite Sterrett. His father ran a family business founded by his maternal grandfather, Louis Melind. A proud Panther and Indian, he attended elementary school at Joseph Sears and high school at New Trier, accumulating a wide circle of friends whom he held close always. His grades and his swimming prowess earned him a scholarship to the University of Illinois. After graduating from Illinois as an All-American freestyler with a degree in business administration, Dave served in the Army for two years on Nike missile bases in Maryland and Texas. He returned to Chicago and joined the Continental Bank, where he worked for over 20 years. His standout professional and personal adventure was assuming international banking posts in Singapore and the Netherlands in the 1970s. Traveling the world with his family inhabited a very special place in his memory. A voracious reader, Dave also had discerning taste in films. His five favorite movies—Casablanca, Godfather II, Shawshank Redemption, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Roman Holiday—were a window into the soul of his life. In his late years, he connected to everybody through their favorite films.
He is survived by Midge, his sweetheart of more than 60 years, and his children; Jody Sterrett Johnson (Jeff), Jill Sterrett, Brooke Sterrett Steinhoff (Cal) and Chip Sterrett (Jenny). He also leaves eight grandchildren: Drew and Remy Johnson; Grey Beaudin; Jane and Charlie Steinhoff; and Aidan, Ryan and Finn Sterrett. Dave is also survived by his two sisters, Mary Lou Smith and Betty Sterrett. A memorial service will be held at 2pm on Thursday, May 3 at the Kenilworth Union Church. In lieu of flowers, and in honor of his faithful dog Cubbie, contributions can be made to Orphans of the Storm, 2200 Riverwoods Road, Deerfield 60015, www.orphansofthestorm.org/donate.