Shoenberg, of philanthropic family, dies at 87


Jean M. Shoenberg, described as the last surviving family member of “a generation of major philanthropists in St. Louis,” died Friday, June 6, 2008, after a long illness.

She was 87.

Mrs. Shoenberg and her late husband, Robert H. Shoenberg, and his family donated exensively to many St. Louis institutions, it was reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Among the institutions suppported by the Shoenbergs were Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the St. Louis Art Museum, which received the family’s extensive collection of contemporary art.

In previous generations, the Shoenberg family had estabslished dry goods businesses that grew into the May Department Stores Co., which included Famous-Barr, now part of Macy’s.

Mrs. Shoenberg was born Jean Malugen in Bonne Terre, Mo., and grew up in St. Louis.

Mrs. Shoenberg was an accomplished dancer, model and actress in St. Louis and New York. She and her husband were married 55 years and lived in the Central West End.

Mrs. Shoenberg was a community volunteer for a Mary Institute arts group, and was once named the Best-Dressed Woman in St. Louis. She was able to remain in her Central West End home until her last hours.

Services were private.

Among the survivors are three daughters, Susan Cronholm of San Francisco; Robin Zwick of St. Louis; and Linda Slavin of Long Boat Key, Fla.; and five grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Memory Diagnostic Center at Washington University School of Medicine, 4488 Forest Park Boulevard, Suite 160, c/o Dr. John Morris, St. Louis, Mo. 63108; or to a charity of the donor’s choice.