Charles A. Werner, 90, attorney, past president of Shaare Emeth

Noted attorney Charles A. Werner was a past president of Congregation Shaare Emeth and the New Mt. Sinai Cemetery Association.


Charles A. Werner, a highly regarded attorney, a past president of Congregation Shaare Emeth and a former member of the City Council of University City, died Dec. 7.  He was 90 and a lifetime resident of his beloved University City.

Charles Allen Werner was born in University City on Nov. 9, 1929, one of three children of Emanuel and Tessie Barker Werner. 

In his eulogy during a service at Shaare Emeth on Sunday, Rabbi Jim Bennett recalled that Mr. Werner never moved far from his beloved University City neighborhood.  

He graduated from University City High School in 1947 where he served as class president. He was later elected to the University City High School Hall of Fame. He was an Eagle Scout in the locally famous Troop 90, which was based at Shaare Emeth, where he was confirmed.

Mr. Werner earned a degree in industrial engineering at Washington University in 1951, and a law degree from St. Louis University School of Law in 1959. He served in the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer, and was posted in Okinawa.  On his return from service, he married the former Mary Louise “Gigi” Wise and began his six decade legal career.

Mr. Werner was highly regarded locally and nationally as a successful advocate for unions and the interests of teachers, musicians, electricians and others.  He was a founding partner of the law firm of Schuchat, Cook & Werner.  He was respected for his work ethic and fairness and good nature.

Among his many leadership positions, Mr. Werner was a past president of the New Mount Sinai Cemetery Association.

Hundreds of people braved the snow on Sunday to fill the sanctuary of Shaare Emeth, where Bennett, Rabbi Emeritus Jeffrey Stiffman, Rabbi Andrea Goldstein and Cantor Seth Warner officiated.

Each of the clergy and members of Mr. Werner’s family spoke of him in similar terms:  a mensch; a decent compassionate human being; a person who cared about other people at all levels; a man of great integrity; a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. 

Others mentioned his sense of humor, his full-throated laugh and his zest for all aspects of his productive life.

Mr. Werner was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Morton (Marilyn). He is survived by his wife, Mary Louise Wise “Gigi” Werner; their three children, Catherine Werner, Steven Werner and Lynn Werner Marsden; four grandchildren; and his sister, Carolyn (Joseph) Losos.

Burial was private.  The family requests that tributes be sent to a charity of the donor’s choice.