November/December 2015

In Memoriam: Judge Donald J. Stohr

The Honorable Donald J. Stohr, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri, died on December 10, 2015, at the age of 81. He received his commission on April 13, 1992, and assumed senior status on December 31, 2006. Judge Stohr was born in 1934, in Sedalia, Missouri. He graduated with his Bachelor’s of Science degree from Saint Louis University in 1956, and with his Juris Doctor from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1958.

Following law school, he worked in private practice with the firm Hocker, Goodwin & MacGreevey from 1958 until 1962.

In 1960, while still a young lawyer, he ran as the Republican candidate for Attorney General of Missouri, losing to Democratic candidate Thomas F. Eagleton. The two took part in debates and actually carpooled to the debates. Through this, they became friends, and later they would become law partners at Thompson & Mitchell. Stohr continued in politics, serving as chairman of the St. Louis County Republican Central Committee from 1963 to 1965.

In the mid-1960s, Stohr worked as the First Assistant County Counselor (1963-1965) and then as County Counselor (1965-1966) for St. Louis County.

He then joined the firm of Thompson, Mitchell, Douglas, Neill & Guerri in 1966. He made partner in three years and worked there until his appointment as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri in 1973.

While U.S. Attorney, Stohr modernized the office and created a separate civil division. Among his hires, as then Assistant U.S. Attorney, was now U.S. Eastern District of Missouri Judge Jean Hamilton. Stohr left the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1976 to return to private practice at his previous firm, Thomas & Mitchell (currently Thompson Coburn), where he practiced law until his appointment to the bench in 1992. He was chair of the firm’s commercial litigation department and headed the ethics committee.

In 1998, Judge Stohr was appointed by Chief Justice Rehnquist to the Financial Disclosure Committee of the United States Judicial Conference. He was reappointed in 2001 and served until 2005. He also served as the Eastern District of Missouri representative on the Eighth Circuit Judicial Council.

Judge Stohr is survived by his wife of 58 years, Mary Ann Stohr, five daughters, one brother, one sister, 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.