The Obit For Hank Arft

Ex-St. Louis Browns Player Henry Arft Dies

By Cheryl Wittenauer
The Associated Press
December 17, 2002

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Henry ``Hank'' Arft, a first baseman for the old St. Louis Browns, has died. He was 80.

Arft, who after his playing days joined his wife's family funeral home business, died Saturday of cancer.

He played for the Browns from 1948-52 as a ``routine, nondescript major leaguer,'' said Bob Broeg, retired St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports editor and Baseball Hall of Fame sports writer.

Arft's most productive season was 1951, when the player known as ``Bow-wow'' hit .261 with seven home runs and 42 RBIs. Over his career, he batted .253 with 13 homers.

Broeg said he once got a letter from New York Yankees outfielder Tommy Henrich, when Broeg served on the Hall of Fame committee. Henrich sent Broeg a form letter supporting the Hall of Fame induction of Yankees teammate Joe Gordon. He scribbled in his own handwriting, ``Dear Bob, How's Hank Arft?''

``Hank was so proud that Tommy Henrich would remember him,'' Broeg said. ``It warmed my feeling for him. When I gave that to Henry, he was so happy.''

After retiring from baseball in 1953, Arft joined his wife and brother-in-law's business as co-owner of Schrader Funeral Home in the St. Louis suburb of Ballwin.

He played golf every week and worked until the day before he underwent surgery a year ago.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth, and daughter Peggy Arft Goethe.

Funeral services are set for Wednesday. 

The St. Louis Post Dispatch, December 15, 2002

ARFT, HENRY I. Hank, Saturday, December 14, 2002; beloved husband of 52 years of Ruth Schrader Arft; loving father of Peggy Arft-Goethe, dear father-in-law of Dennis Goethe; beloved grandfather of Nathan Arft; brother of Norman Arft; brother-in-law and business partner of Harold Skip Schrader; dear brother-in-law, uncle, great uncle, great great uncle, cousin, & friend to everyone.

Hank was a co-owner of Schrader Funeral Home in Ballwin, a former St. Louis Browns baseball player, a member of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, St. Louis Browns Historical Society, Missouri Funeral Directors Association, National Funeral Directors Association, V.F.W. Post 6274, American Legion Post #208, Destroyer Escort Sailors Association, Bonhomme Lodge #45 AF&AM, Scottish Rite, Moolah Temple Shrine, West County Kiwanis, West County Chamber of Commerce, the Professional Car Society and St. John United Church of Christ in Manchester.

In 1999, Hank & Ruth were honored to serve as Mr. & Mrs. Ballwin Days.

Funeral service at St. John United Church of Christ, 332 Old Sulphur Springs Road, Manchester, Wednesday, 1:00 P.M.

Interment St. John U.C.C. Cemetery.

If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the St. John United Church of Christ Organ Fund, 332 Old Sulphur Springs, Rd., Manchester, 63021.

Visitation at the Schrader Funeral Home, 14960 Manchester Rd. at Holloway, Ballwin, Tuesday 2-9 p.m and at the Church Wednesday, 11:00-1 P.M.