Town Talk Features

Remembering Charlene Bry

Sept. 6, 1939 – July 12, 2018

Recently, the T&S family lost a dear friend and supporter, Charlene Bry. A dynamic, creative and tireless writer, Bry was a force on the local publishing scene. She authored a book, Ladue Found, chronicling the history and development of Ladue, and she grew Ladue News (launched by her son, Richie Jr.) from a tiny monthly into a weekly magazine purchased by the Journals Register Co. in 1997. She supported the efforts of her daughter, Lauren Bry Rechan (T&S publisher), and several other newspaper veterans when they launched Town&Style in 2010.

As a Ladue woman, Bry was an anomaly when she entered publishing in 1983, frequently declaring she “wanted more than the country club life.” She worked tirelessly to build her publishing business, strategically growing both sales and editorial into a community paper that staffers were proud to represent. After leaving the business, she devoted herself to expanding her writing skills by meeting with authors, attending workshops and meticulously researching the personalities who founded her community for her book.

Throughout her career, Bry also gave back generously to St. Louis in service and support. She sat on countless boards, and as a publisher, ensured that charitable organizations had access to press coverage in her magazine. She nurtured young talent and had a wide circle of friends from all walks of life. She was a dear friend to many and a beloved mother of three and grandmother of nine.

After graduating from University City High School, Bry attended the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and later finished her undergraduate degree at Washington University, where she also earned a master’s degree of liberal arts with thesis. She coauthored the book A World of Plants: The Missouri Botanical Garden. During her long career in publishing, she was honored with many awards, including the St. Louis Press Club’s Media Person of the Year in 2000, Woman of Achievement in 1990 and the Hellenic Spirit Foundation’s Athena Award.

Bry was the consummate entrepreneur, energetically bubbling with ideas, enthusiasm and new projects well into her 70s. She will be missed by many, especially her longtime companion Morty Mitchell and her surviving children, Richman Bry Jr. and his wife Helene and Lauren Bry Rechan and her husband Michael. She will be remembered forever as a loving and proud grandmother in the hearts of her nine grandchildren: Ryan, Aaron, Katie, Jackson, Mac, Bry, Tori, Cyrus and Kasey.