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Gerald Edmond Dreifke

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Dreifke, Gerald Edmond age 91, peacefully on Sunday, January 10, 2010, surrounded by family. Fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church. Beloved husband of Lorraine Ann Dreifke (nee Feldhaus) for 58 years. Loving father of Mark August (Annette) Dreifke, Matthew (Patricia) Dreifke, Laura Maria (Jan Killough) Dreifke, and Anne Marie Dreifke. Dear grandfather of Alex, Shelby, and Melanie; Ann Michelle (Vince) Mullen, Catherine, Joseph M. and Mary Clare; Xavier M. Bess. Cherished great-grandfather of Aubrey. Brother of Herman, Raymond, Celeste, Rosiland, Dorothea (Connor), Donald, and Anne (Gootee). Dear uncle, cousin and friend to many. Jerry attended Walnut Park Elementary School and Beaumont High School in Saint Louis. He complimented his Saint Louis Public School teachers for the rest of his life. After high school graduation, he worked as a layout man in the engineering offices of the CurtissWright Aircraft Company at Lambert Field. During this period he also helped his parents build a weekend cabin in the country which is still enjoyed by his family today. Work on the cabin ceased with the advent of World War 2. Jerry was drafted and entered the Navy. He was a radio and radar technician and attended the Naval Post-Graduate Radar Institute at Monterrey, California. After honorable discharge from the Navy, Jerry received his batchelors and masters of science in 1948. He earned two degrees in three years with honors. Both degrees were conferred by Washington University in Saint Louis. He was always appreciative that the GI Bill enabled his higher education. After graduation, Jerry received an Instructor position at Saint Louis University, He was promoted to assistant and associate professor before being named full professor in 1961. Jerry helped establish the SLU Institute of Technology and make it into a nationally recognized institution. He was the chairman of the department of electrical engineering and of the graduate program in electrical engineering. His students at the institute were one of the joys of his life. He was awarded the Nancy McNair Ring for Outstanding Faculty Award in 1966. Jerry met Lorraine Feldhaus in 1950. They were married on June 9, 1951. Their four children will always appreciate Dad's gentle kindness and humor. They emulated his role model by achieving advanced degrees in business, engineering and nursing. Jerry was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship which enabled his return to Washington University. He was awarded the Doctor of Science degree in 1960. He had numerous technical articles published by professional journals. He was also a licensed Professional Engineer. After leaving SLU, Dr. Dreifke was Manager of Research and Development at Union Electric. He was a consultant for Monsanto, Bell Telephone Labs, Southwestern Bell and Washington University. Late in life he returned to academia as a founding professor of the Pre-Engineering Program at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. Jerry enjoyed sports. He was a long-term Cardinal, Notre Dame and Billiken fan. He also coached his children in several sports. Services: The family will receive friends Sunday, January 17 in the Great Hall of AMBRUSTER DONNELLY Mortuary, 6633 Clayton Rd. (Clayton) from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm. The funeral mass will be celebrated 10:00 am Monday, January 18, at St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church 1408 S. 10th St (at Park Avenue). 63104. Interment in Calvery Cemetery. The family wishes to thank the nurses and staff of Saint John's Mercy Medical Center. They made Dad's last days as comfortable as possible. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Saint Louis University College of Engineering, Gerald E. Dreifke Endowed Scholarship, c/o Susan Bloomfield, 3450 Lindell Boulevard, McDonnellDouglas Hall, Room 1002, St. Louis Mo 63103.

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Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Jan. 13, 2010
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