Remembering David C. Farrell

The St. Louis Community Foundation remembers and honors David C. Farrell—entrepreneur, civic leader, and philanthropist. The retired chairman and CEO of May Department Stores died June 5, 2023 at age 89. 

Farrell served on the Foundation’s Board from 1999–2001. In 2005, he established the Farrell Family Foundation, which regularly supported nonprofits such as the Saint Louis Art Museum Foundation, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and Archdiocese of St. Louis. Together with his late wife, Betty, Farrell established a distinguished professorship in medicine at Washington University. The Farrells also supported Alzheimer’s Disease research at the university. 

An active civic leader, Farrell also was a trustee emeritus at Washington University and served on a number of advisory boards. Among Farrell’s honors over the years were the Right Arm of St. Louis Award from the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association in 1998 and the Levee Stone Award from the Downtown St. Louis Partnership in 1985. 

“Mr. Farrell was one of the St. Louis Community Foundation’s most prolific donors, giving generously and frequently to more than 260 individual organizations since opening the fund,” said Wendy Witte, Donor Relations Manager & SOS Officer at the St. Louis Community Foundation. Witte worked with Farrell for more than a decade. 

Farrell was preceded in death by his wife, Betty, and his brother, Dan. Farrell is remembered by two sons, a daughter, and four grandchildren. The funeral will be private. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 14, 2023 at the Bogey Club, 9266 Clayton Road, Ladue.