Glenn Johnson Sheffield, who served two terms as mayor of Webster Groves and was known for her lifelong volunteer efforts on behalf of numerous civic organizations, died May 2. Mrs. Sheffield was 82.
Mrs. Sheffield was a two-term mayor of Webster Groves, serving from 1986 to 1994. Prior to her election as Webster’s first female mayor, Mrs. Sheffield served on the city council from 1980 to 1986.
“The job of being mayor is about being in touch with all of the community organizations, and there are a lot of them,” Mrs. Sheffield told the Times, following the announcement that she had been named Webster Groves Citizen of the Year for 1997.
Mrs. Sheffield was a long-time friend and supporter of Opera Theatre of St. Louis, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Edgewood Children’s Center (now Great Circle).
Mrs. Sheffield was in charge of converting the Brown House into an after-theater club for the Repertory Theatre. Her work on The Rep’s Board of Directors, beginning in 1972, served as a springboard for many decades of her volunteer efforts.
Mrs. Sheffield was involved with Opera Theatre of St. Louis since its beginnings in the late 1970s, helping to grow the small upstart into a world-class opera company.
“When I ran for mayor in 1986, somebody said to me, ‘don’t worry if you don’t win this time, you can win next time,” Mrs. Sheffield told the Times in 1998. But win, she did, by defeating 16-year mayor John “Jack” Cooper by collecting 69 percent of the vote.
Following her eight years as mayor, Mrs. Sheffield went on to chair the board of trustees of the Metropolitan Sewer District, telling people that she went from “mayoring” to “sewering.”
“Did you ever think I would descend to such level?” she said in 1998.
A Veiled Prophet Lady of Honor, Mrs. Sheffield attended Smith College in Massachusetts.
Mrs. Sheffield served on the national council of the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. She was the board chair of the Arts and Education Council and a board member of the Saint Louis Science Center Associates. She was the board chair of the Arts and Education Council and a board member of the Saint Louis Science Center Associates.
Mrs. Sheffield was very active in the St. Louis Community Foundation, an organization that administers the distribution of charitable funds for use throughout the bi-state area.
She was honored in 2012 as an Ageless Remarkable St. Louisan.
A Webster Groves resident since 1968, Mrs. Sheffield and her late husband, Dr. William Hart Sheffield, were married in 1958. They had three children: John, Ellen and Jamie Sheffield and five grandchildren.
Mrs. Sheffield resided at an independent living facility in Clayton.
Funeral arrangements were not yet available as the Times went to press on May 8.