St. Louis Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame

 

 

 

 

 

Bio

Pierre LaBarge was born in St. Louis on May 29, 1925, the third of five children of Pierre L. LaBarge, Sr. and Elsie Warnhoff LaBarge.  Aside from his two-plus years of military service, he was a lifelong resident of St. Louis.  He attended St. Louis University High School and graduated in 1943.  While at St. Louis U. High he gained some notoriety as an accomplished baseball catcher, and was drafted by the then-New York Giants.  Upon graduation, and with WWII raging, he chose to enlist in the Army Air Corps.  In the Army he trained as a pilot in both B-17 and B-29 aircraft.  He was honorably discharged in September 1945 with a rank of 2nd Lt.

Upon Pierre's return to St. Louis he attended and graduated from Washington University - thanks in large part to Uncle Sam.  He married Mary Ann Miller in 1948 and over the course of the next 16 years they had six children together. 

Pierre's business career got off to a quick start.  He took a position with a steel distribution firm in St. Louis and rose to the position of Vice President, before leaving to start his own company - LaBarge Pipe and Steel Co. - in 1953.  The Company diversified over the years and was very successful, employing nearly 2000 people.  He retired from active management in 1995. 

Pierre was a lifelong hockey fan and supporter.  He was a Blues season ticket holder from their first year and got involved with amateur hockey at Affton in 1971.  In 1974, Affton was organizing a Junior B team to compete with the two other local Junior B teams, the St. Louis Saints (later the St. Louis Chiefs) and the Brentwood Blazers.  Pierre became the team's first sponsor/owner and the Affton Americans began play with Bill Murray and Noel Picard as the team's coaches.  In 1976 the Affton team competed in a prestigious tournament in Toronto against top teams from Canada, New York and Chicago - and Affton came back with a win, a tie, and a loss - and a lot of respect from the opposing teams.  The following year, Affton won the St. Louis Junior B league and was invited to participate in the Junior B Nationals in Totawa, New Jersey.  It was just the second time a St. Louis team played in Nationals.  The team finished in fourth place out of 8 teams.  His 1981-82 Affton Junior B team finished 3rd in Nationals.  Pierre continued to sponsor the team through the 1984-85 season.  His team was the first to wear the now familiar Affton American colors and logo shield.  He assisted many young hockey players with finances to enable them to participate in the sport when they would not have been able to on their own.

Even after relinquishing his duties in 1985, Pierre continued as an avid hockey fan and supporter until his death on December 26, 2002.  He would have been proud to know that all of his years of efforts and finances were appreciated.