Mary Jo Chulick "Jody" Griggs

Obituary
3 entries
  • "To the family of Mary Jo: You are in our thoughts and..."
    - Carla Carlyon
  • "Judie - I have had the privledge of working as City..."
    - Douglas Harms
  • "Judie...your Mom was remarkable! Cindy Armstrong contacted..."
    - Karen Kane
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Griggs, Mary Jo Jody Chulick died peacefully on February 16 at her home at Morningside in Newport News, VA after suffering from kidney disease. She had been a resident of Newport News, VA since March 2011, when she moved from Hendersonville, NC to be closer to her grandson and family. She was a longtime resident of Des Peres, MO and will always call St. Louis her home. She was preceded in death by her loving and devoted husband of 55 Years, Dr. James Young Griggs. She was the sister of Dr. John W. Chulick, and wife Frances, of Pembroke Pines, FL. She was the mother of Judith Ann Griggs Renfro of Enka, NC. She was the proud grandmother of Eric Ryan Renfro, and wife Shannon, of Hayes, VA; great grandmother of Jeremy Ryan and Irelynn Elizabeth Renfro, and the late Savannah Grace Renfro. Born in Benld, IL on June 28, 1925, she attended Benld High School, class of 1944 and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in dress design in 1948. Prior to marriage, she was the Head of the Patricia Stephens Modeling Agency. She starred and played piano in the Charlotte Peter's noontime TV show. She also starred in her own TV show called To the Ladies which aired in St. Louis in the early 1950s, and went by the professional name Mary Jo Martin. She was married to Jim at 1st Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, MO on August 4, 1951. She and her husband traveled with the Navy and spent time in Panama from 1953-1955. Jody and Jim welcomed daughter, Judie, in May of 1957. Jody and her husband built their home in Des Peres in 1960 and while raising their young daughter, Judie, Jody had a conversation with Mayor Hugh McNew in 1962, answering a call to have more women involved in government, she began 20 years in city government in Des Peres. In 1962, she served on the Board of Adjustment until 1965, then ran and won the position of Alderwoman of Ward I 1965-1970, was elected Acting Mayor by the board of aldermen in 1968, then ran and won Mayor of Des Peres in 1970. She was the first woman mayor of Des Peres and one of the few in the nation, and proudly served as Mayor 1970-1972. She was elected Alderwoman again, serving from 1983 until 1987. During her tenure as Alderwoman, she was on the Board overseeing the development of West County Mall. Additionally, she served on many other boards and commissions before and after her term as Mayor. She enjoyed gardening and was President of the Harwood Hills Garden Club (now Harwood Hills Women's Club) in 1966, and again in 1992 to 1995. She also enjoyed playing bridge with friends and belonged to several Bridge Clubs. She was also active in several social clubs in the St. Louis area. She loved music fondly and enjoyed playing the piano as well as becoming an accomplished artist in her later years. She was very political and participated in several Republican Party activities, and enjoyed working the polls in later years with her husband, Jim. Services: A gathering of friends and family will be held at 10:00 AM, Friday, February 24 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Benld, followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00 AM with Msgr. Lawrence Auda, officiating. Burial will be held at the Holy Cross Cemetery, Gillespie, IL. Kravanya Funeral Home, is in charge of the arrangements.

Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch from Feb. 19 to Feb. 23, 2012