By Lynne Johnson
Mary Ann and Homer Mastorakas bought 10 acres off Schoettler Road in 1962 from farmer Louis Kraus of Conway Road. They sold off 6 of the acres and then built their home in 1966. Their new home seemed a long way from South St. Louis where they had started their family. Highway 40 was two lanes in each direction, separated by a wide grassy, or muddy, median with many trees. Schoettler crossed the highway with a stop sign on each side. Chesterfield Parkway had not even been imagined. There were only 7 homes on the south part of Schoettler to Clayton Road. The north side of Schoettler had the American Legion Hall with a baseball field, backing up to White Plains Subdivision. It dead ended at Olive with Rinkles’ Market on the west side. J & J Window Sales was on the Olive and Schoettler corner.
Both Mary Ann and Homer remarked at how the original, old-time Chesterfield families welcomed them when they moved in. Homer joined the Chesterfield Lions Club and the wives even gave Mary Ann a baby shower. Shopping was done either at Rinkels Market, the A & P at Kehrs Mill and Clayton, or the Kroeger at Clarkson and Clayton. There were also two farmers markets in Gumbo; Hellwigs and Rombachs. Now the Gumbo area is known as Chesterfield Valley with hundreds of stores and parking spaces covering in former fields. If you wanted anything besides food you drove to Clayton. One of their neighbors, Milton Duenke had County Water piped into the neighborhood but there were no sewers or natural gas lines. Septic Tanks still had to be regularly pumped out and propane tanks needed to be filled. Mail was delivered on a Rural Route. The Post Office was in the historic bank building at the present intersection of Baxter and Old Chesterfield Road. Back then it was Old Olive Street Road.
Homer worked both in Clayton and the City of St Louis as an attorney. The long commute made him open his own law office on Saturdays in the old Henry Seiler house on Olive next to J & J Window Sales. Enough clients followed him to ‘The Country’ that he moved his work fulltime to Chesterfield in the early 1980’s. He was on the Chesterfield Bank Board with Al Kirth and was a founding member of the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce. He was named Chesterfield Business Person of the year in 1982.
Homer was very involved with the developing Parkway School system as PTO President of Clayton Woods School, and chairing 2 bond issues while on the Citizen Advisory Commission. He was honored with the Pillar of Parkway award for all his efforts in 1984.
Mary Ann volunteered with the Girl Scouts for 18 years as troop leader, neighborhood chairman and St. Louis area Board. She has been active since the 1960’s with the Delta Gamma Center which provides benefits to visually impaired children. Mary Ann also works with the Scholarship Foundation Board and the St. Nicholas Parish Council.
Mary Ann Mastorakas was interviewed by Lynne Johnson on 4 March 2016.