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Longtime activist Norman R. Seay dies at 87

Norman R. Seay, a longtime civil rights activist, died Tuesday, Sept. 17, at his home in north St. Louis. He was 87.

Mr. Seay was born on Feb. 18, 1932, in St. Louis.

Mr. Seay was one of the group of protesters whose demonstrations in 1963 at Jefferson Bank & Trust were a watershed for desegregation in St. Louis. The bank had refused to hire blacks except for menial jobs; the demonstration prompted it and most other businesses here to open up better jobs to blacks.

Mr. Seay served a brief jail sentence for his participation in the demonstrations. Because of that, he lost his job as a counselor at Sumner High School and moved to Maryland to work as an equal employment specialist. Eventually he returned, and worked for the University of Missouri-St. Louis until 2000.

More recently, he headed the African-American advisory board of Washington University’s Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

A park in Jeff-Vander-Lou is named for him.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 20 at True Light Missionary Baptist Church, 2838 James “Cool Papa” Bell Avenue. He donated his body to Washington University.


June Heath

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