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Robert L. Berra

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Robert L. Berra Obituary
Berra, Robert L. Fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church on Thursday, May 9, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Fl. Beloved husband of Vivian Berra (nee Miles); dearest father of Kathy (Duane) Schrage and Patti (Ed) Babcock; loving grandfather of Sarah (Jeremy) Boyce; dear great grandfather of A.J. Boyce; dear son of the late Angelo and Clara (Stohl) Berra; dear stepson of Elsie (Petcher) Berra. Bob was a native of St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from St. Louis University with a B.S. in Commerce and Finance and earned his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1947. His career began as a lecturer at St Louis University while doing graduate work in Economics. In order to get practical experience he accepted an offer from Monsanto as assistant training manager in a large plant. In the next 20 years he worked in almost every aspect of the personnel function and reached the level of assistant director of corporate personnel. During this time he also studied Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. In 1970 he accepted an offer from Foremost-McKesson (now McKesson) to become vice president of corporate personnel and public relations. In 1974 he returned to Monsanto as vice-president of personnel. He remained at Monsanto until he retired in 1989 as senior vice-president of administration and advisory member of the board of directors. Along the way, Berra served as president of Industrial Relations Club of St. Louis and Chairman of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). He received the Alumni Merit Award from St. Louis University in 1977 and the Professional of the Year award from SHRM in 1982. He was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources in the inaugural group in 1992. Berra was an emeritus member of the board of trustees of Maryville University, a past member of the finance committee of the Mercy Health System and served on many boards of directors, including Fisher Controls, Venture Stores, NutraSweet, the Searle Pharmaceutical Company and the internal Boards of Monsanto's chemical and agricultural products company. He lectured at leading universities including Harvard, Michigan, Nebraska, Missouri, Boston and Illinois. He consulted with numerous companies, including Edward Jones and Hill and Knowlton. He authored many articles in the field of human resource management and keynoted conventions throughout America for more than 35 years. He was co-developer of the MBA program at American International University, Springfield, Massachusetts and was chairman of the visiting committee on personnel at Harvard University, 1979-1981. He served on the adjunct faculty of the University of Illinois' Institute of labor and Industrial Relations. He was a member of the Senior Adjunct Faculty at Olin School of Business, Washington University, St. Louis, where he taught in the school's executive MBA program for over 20 years until his retirement in 2004. He was the recipient of the Reid Teacher of the Year award in 1994. He was a veteran of WWII having enlisted in the Navy as an Ordinary Seaman in 1942 and was honorably discharged as Lieutenant (Junior Grade) in 1946. Services: Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:00 AM, Saturday, May 18 at St. Anselm Church, 530 S. Mason Rd., Creve Coeur. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Visitation Friday, May 17, from 5 to 8 PM at Kriegshauser West, 9450 Olive Blvd., Olivette. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the appreciated. www.kriegshausermortuary.com

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Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch from May 12 to May 15, 2013
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