John Oberle Felker

John Oberle Felker
On Thursday, September 5, 2013, John Oberle Felker, age 93, passed away peacefully in his sleep. John was born and raised in St. Louis, attending John Burroughs School. In 1941, he graduated from Harvard College. Then, in 1943, he graduated from Harvard Business School. In September 1942, he married Carol Comfort of Englewood, New Jersey. During World War II, John earned his commission as a lieutenant in the Navy, serving in the Pacific. His tour of duty included the disposal of unexploded bombs from fighter planes in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska, as well as postings in Jacksonville, Florida, and Palo Alto, California. After the war, John returned to St. Louis and became president of Laclede Insurance Agency. In 1960, Laclede merged with Lawton-Byrne-Bruner (LBB), and John continued his insurance career as a Senior Partner and Treasurer of LBB. In the 1980s, LBB merged into the Marsh & McLennan Companies. During his business career in St. Louis, John founded and owned John O. Felker Benefit Services, which he managed for many years. Through John O. Felker Benefit Services, he served as administrator for one of the largest group life-health insurance programs in the country. In the early 1990s, Kirke-Van Orsdel, Inc. acquired John O. Felker Benefit Services. John also taught advanced insurance classes for several years at Washington University in St. Louis. When he retired from the insurance business, John maintained a residence in Clarksville, Missouri, and for a time owned the Adler Restaurant there. During his time in Clarksville, John was the treasurer of, and a frequent homilist at, Grace Episcopal Church. Later, he lived in Lake Wales, Florida. John has served for many years as a member of the St. Louis Regional Advisory Board of the Salvation Army. John was an avid golf, tennis, and squash player; he was also a motorcycle rider and a boat-owner. John is survived by his wife of 70 years, Carol Comfort Felker; his daughter Jane Matz of Washington, DC, and sons Stephen Comfort Felker of Chicago and Charles Joshua Felker of Bethesda, MD. John also has nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren. The family of John's sister, the late Jeanne Bland, including Howard T. Bland and Barbara Powell, live in St. Louis.
Services: A memorial service will be scheduled in the future and announced in a guest book at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/stltoday/ . In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to efforts that John supported during his lifetime including The Salvation Army and John Burroughs School.

Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sept. 10, 2013