Funeral homes often submit obituaries as a service to the families they are assisting. Obituaries submitted by family members are also accepted pending proper verification of the death.

"I'm a black person with an ability to get on with whites, but I'm black," he told the Post-Dispatch in a 1992 interview. "The way I learned to relate to whites and not intimidate them — maybe I can use that. I think I can shuttle back and forth and be the bridge."

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