Charlene Sherman Bry, 78; founded Ladue News

Charlene Sherman Bry

BY ROBERT A. COHN, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Charlene Sherman Bry, community philanthropist and owner/publisher of the Ladue News from 1983-1997, died Thursday, July 12, after a months-long battle with a brain tumor. She was 78.

Ms. Bry was such a vital presence in the journalistic community, as well as being a respected author of books on the history of Ladue and the Missouri Botanical Garden, that her sudden passing took many of her friends and colleagues by surprise.

Ms. Bry’s colleagues on the St. Louis Press Club Board of Directors on which she served, offered words of admiration and condolences to her family.

sCynthia Frohlichstein, a St. Louis Press Club board member and also a published author said, “Charlene’s passing is terribly bad news. She made a big impact on the community.  May she rest in peace.”

Claire Applewhite, another press club board member said, “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Charlene Bry. She was a very intelligent and gracious lady and I learned a great deal from her.   She will be sorely missed.”

Ms. Bry was a proud alumna of the University City High School Class of 1957, and words of condolences and fond memories of shared experiences were expressed by many of her classmates. 

Ms. Bry led the Ladue News from its modest beginnings as a monthly newsprint foldout into a major local news publication and a coveted venue to publicize charitable and civic activities.

After she sold the magazine, Ms. Bry authored a book on the history of Ladue, called “Ladue Found,” which was both handsome in format and filled with detailed research on the history of that city.  She was also the co-author of “A World of Plants: The Missouri Botanical Garden.”

The St. Louis Press Club honored Ms. Bry in 2000 as a Media Person of the Year. Other accolades include being named a Women of Achievement and the Hellenic Spirit Foundation’s Athena Award.  She served on numerous boards supporting the arts, and was an early supporter of the St. Louis Speakers Series.

Charlene Sherman Bry was born in St. Louis on September 6, 1939, daughter of the late Philip and Rose Roth Sherman.  She was the sister of Jason Sherman and the late Martin Sherman.

With her former husband, the late Richman Bry, she raised three children, Richman Bry, Jr. (Helene); Robert Martin Bry (deceased) and Lauren Bry Rechan (Michael). 

She had nine grandchildren. She is also survived by her loving companion of the past 15 years, Morty Mitchell.

After graduating from University City High School, she attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and Washington University, receiving a master of liberal arts degree with thesis in 2013.

Funeral services were held Sunday at the New Mt. Sinai Mausoleum and officiated by Rabbi Amy Feder of Congregation Temple Israel.

Memorial contributions preferred to The Siteman Cancer Center Development Office, Washington University, CB 1204, 7425 Forsyth Blvd., 63105-2161, or the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, 12 Millstone Campus Drive, 63146.