Jean Coombs Sallwasser

Jean Coombs Sallwasser, September 13,1926 – March 29, 2024 died at the home of her younger daughter. She was predeceased by her husband of 74 years, George Sallwasser; surrounded and loved by family, daughters, Barb Ridenhour (Dee and Robbi) and Martie Metzler (Paul); grandchildren, Benjamin Metzler (Diana Sun), Elizabeth Metzler (PJ Gorham), Lisa Robinson, Steve (Kim) Ridenhour; 7 great grandchildren, 7 great, great grandchildren; sister, Anne Coombs Wagner, 4 nieces, 3 nephews, and multiples of great nieces and nephews. She leaves many dear friends, neighbors, and former clients. 

A graduate of Maplewood-Richmond Heights HS, she attended Drury College where she was dubbed “Our Zeta Lady” by her sorority, ZTA. Following college she worked at Bell Telephone until marriage to a former high school classmate, George Sallwasser in 1949. After several moves around the South and Midwest, they settled in Kirkwood with their two daughters in 1962. She assumed a family tax preparing business which she ran until retirement in 2004. She achieved the prestigious certification of “Enrolled Agent” and was proud of her record of never having a return denied by the IRS. 

Jean enjoyed puzzles and games of all sorts, basketball, tennis, racquetball, and bridge which she played with a group of high school friends as long as they were able to gather. She always had a jigsaw and crossword underway. She was a devoted mom, and homemaker, cooking and sewing; volunteering for PTA and Girl Scouts; carpooling, and organizing family life. After moving back to St Louis she loved to gather as many generations as possible for holiday feasts. As the family grew, Jean delighted in her grandchildren and great grandchildren, keeping a stash of toys and games for every age group. At church Jean sang in choirs, served as deacon, and volunteer for a multitude of committees, most recently at Trinity Presbyterian in University City. She and George were also supporters of Forest Park Forever, the Zoo, and the Art Museum, and held season tickets to the Muni for 60 years. They also organized conferences and fundraisers for many organizations including St Louis Spinners Club, and The Alzheimer’s Association.

Jean loved travel, especially international travel with George, exploring Europe, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. Each year, after the close of the tax season they retreated to the Caribbean for relaxation, returning 20 times to Virgin Gorda, to unwind and relax with friends who visited from time to time. 

In 2013 Jean became an active member of the Laclede Groves Senior Living Community where she served as Floor Rep to the Residents Council, and devoted many hours to the Wise Buys re-sale shop up until the last year of her life. She treasured the friendship of her Laclede Groves neighbors. 

The last months of her life were spent at the home of her younger daughter, Barb. There she enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, plenty of chocolate ice cream with marshmallow fluff, and family who cared for her with the help of Pathways Hospice who helped assure a peaceful end.  

Memorial Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church University City, 6800 Washington Avenue University City, MO 63130 (elevator entrance on Kingsland Ave) Friday April 12 at 1:00 pm. The family will greet friends afterwards to enjoy a dish of ice cream in 

Jean’s honor.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trinity Presbyterian Church, Forest Park Forever, or The IMSE Endowment Fund of LSS (provides assistance to residents to remain at Laclede Groves when needed)



  1. Kathy and Dennis Banker on April 8, 2024 at 9:46 am

    Jean and George were such lovely people. We met them through my aunt and uncle (Boyd and Ruth Mills). Jean did our taxes for many years and throughout the years we were blesssed with joining them in a number of events.

  2. Janet Combs on April 11, 2024 at 8:31 pm

    Our deepest condolences to your entire family! Jean was a lovely and kind person who I deeply appreciated for her generosity. May you find peace in all your wonderful memories!

  3. Mia Walters on April 19, 2024 at 6:29 am

    We are so sorry to read in the WKTimes of Jean’s passing. We were Muny seat neighbors for a number of years and loved talking with them prior to shows and during intermissions. Found we shared many common interests and enjoyed conversation and laughter with them – such a beautiful loving couple.
    Glad she and George are reunited in Heaven.

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