It is with great sadness that the family of Michael G. Gratz announces his passing in his sleep on June 16, 2021 at the age of 86. Born April 8, 1935 in South St. Louis City to Jane and John Gratz, Michael spent his life working to improve the lives of others. He is survived by his brother David, daughter Kathleen, granddaughter Claudia, son Michael, daughter-in-law Stacy, and grandson William, along with many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother John Gratz, Jr. and his ex-wife Joyce Quinn.
A graduate of Saint Louis University High School and Washington University, Michael began his career in the 1960s as a music promoter for Warner Brothers Records. He enjoyed rubbing elbows with the likes of Tina Turner and Frank Sinatra before moving into the television business, joining KPLR in the early 1970s. He spent several years as General Manager at both St. Louis’s KSLQ and Kansas City’s KWKI before landing in advertising as Vice President at Katz Communications.
An active member of local politics for the Democratic party, running several times for local office, Michael had a fierce loyalty to upholding democratic principles, championing the underdog, and fighting for the betterment of society. In this spirit, he spent much of his retirement on philanthropic pursuits, donating his time to numerous organizations throughout St. Louis. He was particularly active as a volunteer with Forest Park Forever, where he was a beloved presence at the Visitor and Education Center for many years. Michael also dedicated over 40 years of mentoring to a prominent alcohol recovery organization.
Michael will be remembered for his wit, honesty, adventurous spirit, passion for cooking and travel (he visited every state in the country and traveled extensively around the world), and his infectious sense of humor.
Memorial donations in Michael’s memory may be made to:
Forest Park Forever (https://www.forestparkforever.org/tribute-donations)
The Missouri Democratic Party (https://secure.actblue.com/donate/missouridems-website2)
Services: A celebration of Michael’s life will be announced at a later date.