John Krey Stephens, former chairman and chief executive of the old Krey Packing Co., died Wednesday (Feb. 4, 2009) of cardiomyopathy at his home in Ladue, his family said. He was 87 and also had a home in Palm Beach, Fla.
Mr. Stephens' great-great-grandfather, John Krey, came from Germany to St. Louis, where he started the meatpacking company in 1882. His grandfather expanded the company to San Francisco.
The company's slaughterhouse, at 3607 North Florissant Avenue, was a business fixture in the Hyde Park neighborhood of north St. Louis for decades, employing at one time some 850 workers.
Mr. Stephens worked for the company in various capacities for 45 years. In 1978, Krey, citing St. Louis' decline as a hog market center, sold its brand name to John Morrell & Co.
After the company was sold, Mr. Stephens made his living as an investor, his family said.
Mr. Stephens formerly served on the boards of St. Louis University, where he was inducted into the university's Hall of Fame, the Lindner Fund and Lindell Bank.
During World War II, Mr. Stephens served in the Coast Guard in the Philippines.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Church of the Annunziata, Clayton and Cella roads, Ladue. Burial will be private.
Among the survivors are his wife, Dorothy Stephens of Ladue and Palm Beach; two daughters, Deecy Gray of Washington and Georgia Thornton of Minneapolis; and a sister, Ann Clair Koch of St. Louis County.
Memorial contributions may be made to the John Krey Stephens Athletic Scholarship Foundation at St. Louis University, 221 North Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 63103.
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