May 08, 2012

University Communications

John K. Pruellage, 1941-2012

John K. Pruellage
John K. Pruellage

John K. Pruellage, the Chairman of the Saint Louis University Board of Trustees, passed away May 5, 2012. He was 71

A SLU alumnus, Mr. Pruellage joined the University's Board of Trustees in 1998 and was elected chairman in 2009. He also co-chaired the largest and most-successful capital campaign in the University's history.

University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J., credited Mr. Pruellage with helping lead SLU through a period of remarkable progress that has included numerous major building projects, record enrollments, expanded academic programs and an enhanced national reputation.

"Jack embodied the very best of what it means to be a Saint Louis University graduate," Biondi said. "He was an outstanding leader who never stopped learning. He lived his remarkable life with principles, purpose and a real passion for serving others. And he was deeply committed to his family, his friends and his faith."

"Jack was also a good mentor and a great friend to me personally," Biondi added. "On behalf of the entire Saint Louis University community, I would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to his family during this very difficult time."

A native St. Louisan, Mr. Pruellage earned his bachelor's degree in accounting from SLU in 1962. He went on to receive a law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1965 and a master's degree of laws from George Washington University in 1969.

One of the region's most respected attorneys, Mr. Pruellage was chairman of Lewis, Rice & Fingersh L.C., where he spent his entire 42-year legal career. In a 2009 interview with the International Lawyers Network, Mr. Pruellage said he would most like to be remembered as an "excellent lawyer."

He was that and much more, according to his longtime colleague Thomas Erb, vice chairman of Lewis, Rice & Fingersh.

"Jack was a great leader not only of our law firm, but in the St. Louis community," Erb said in a statement. "His dynamic personality, boundless energy, keen insight and generosity were unmatched. He set the highest standards for himself and pushed all of us to be our best. Though Lewis Rice will carry on proudly in the tradition that Jack instilled, he will be sorely missed by us all."

Widely considered one of St. Louis' most influential citizens, Mr. Pruellage served on the boards of numerous organizations and institutions, including the Boy Scouts of America Greater St. Louis Area Council, the Saint Louis Zoo, the Regional Business Council and the United Way.

Mr. Pruellage also served on the boards of several leading firms, including Argent Capital Management, Banterra Corp., Fred Weber Inc. and Viasystems Group Inc.

Mr. Pruellage is survived by his three children, Jill Pruellage Hunt (Sean), John Pruellage Jr. (Carol) and William Pruellage (Sarah); and seven grandchildren, Lauren, Shannon and Connor Hunt; and Catherine, Elizabeth, Emma and William ("Ford") Pruellage.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, May 11, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, 4431 Lindell Blvd.

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