Obituary: David C. Farrell, former trustee, 89

David C. Farrell, a former longtime member of the Washington University in St. Louis Board of Trustees, died Monday, June 5, 2023, at his home in Ladue, Mo. He was 89.

Headshot of David Farrell

Farrell, former chairman and CEO of the May Department Stores Co., served on the university’s Board of Trustees from 1979 to 2005 and continued to serve as an emeritus trustee beginning in 2005 until 2022. Among his service to the university, he was a chairman and life patron of the Danforth Circle Eliot Society and an inaugural member of the William H. Danforth Leadership Society. He also had served on the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center community advisory board and on the School of Medicine’s medical finance committee and National Council.

David and his late wife, Betty, provided transformative philanthropic support for WashU. The Farrells’ support includes the David C. and Betty Farrell Distinguished Professorship in Medicine, the state-of-the-art Farrell Learning and Teaching Center on the Medical Campus and the Farrell Family Medical Research Fund to support research into Alzheimer’s disease.

In recognition of his contributions to the university, Farrell received numerous honors, including the 2nd Century Award from the School of Medicine in 2003, the Brookings Award with Betty in 2006, and the William Greenleaf Eliot Society’s Search Award in 2009. WashU awarded David an honorary doctor of science degree in 2007.

Farrell is survived by two sons, Mark Farrell, of Dallas, and David Farrell, of St. Louis; a daughter, Lisa Heller, of St. Louis; a sister, Anne Boho, of Illinois; and four grandsons.

A private service will be held. The family will receive friends from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, June 15, at the Bogey Club, 9266 Clayton Road in Ladue.

Read the family’s obituary online.

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