John H. Poelker

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John H. Poelker

Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Death 10 Feb 1990 (aged 76)
Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Burial Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 11087068 · View Source
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JOHN H. POELKER, a noted St. Louis area politican and civic leader, served as MAYOR of the CITY OF ST. LOUIS during the 1970's. From a large and well-known Northside German-American family in St. Louis from St. Liborius Parish (his father JOHN Sr. was a shoe retailer in the 14th Street Shopping District), JOHN was a graduate of St. Louis University's Business and Law Schools,as well as the William Cullen McBride High School. After his graduation from law school, he went to work for the FBI where he developed a career reputation for thoroughness and fiscal accountability.

Joining the Democratic Party, Poelker rose in the party ranks in the 1950's and '60's. He served as Controller for the City of St. Louis for 10 years prior to running for Mayor after the administration of Mayor Alfonso Cervantes. He served as city mayor from 1973-77.

He also filed the initial legal brief for ROE vs. WADE in 1973 while mayor, initiating the legal battle to halt abortion on demand in the United States. A staunch Roman Catholic, Poelker remained at the forefront of the "Pro-Life Movement" for much of his professional life. (He was succeeded as St. Louis City mayor by James F. Conway in 1977).

Mayor Poelker and his wife, RUTH CAMBRON POELKER, initially made their home in the St. Engelbert Parish /Penrose Park neighborhood of North St. Louis. After RUTH's death (and burial at Calvary Cemetery), Mayor Poelker later lived in the St. Regis condominiums on Lindell Blvd. until the time of his death.

After leaving the Mayor's office, Poelker continued to be active in public affairs. While his wife RUTH had been interred at Calvary Cemetery after her passing, Mayor Poelker donated his body to St. Louis University Medical School at his death at age 76. A memorial Mass was held for him at the New St. Louis Cathedral Basilica. He and his wife are commemorated at Calvary Cemetery.

Family Members



MAYOR JOHN G. POELKER (medical school remains) buried at St. Louis University Medical School Lot, SS. Peter & Paul Cemetery, South St. Louis.
RUTH CAMBRON POELKER buried separately on private lot at Calvary Cemetery, North St. Louis.

Gravesite Details Mayor of the City of St. Louis 1973-77

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  • Created by: Max S. Kaiser, Jr.
  • Added: 4 Jun 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11087068
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John H. Poelker (14 Apr 1913–10 Feb 1990), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11087068, citing Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Max S. Kaiser, Jr. (contributor 46505928) .