Stephen Barenkamp ’73

20 March 2019
Stephen Barenkamp

Class: 1973

Major: Chemistry

Residence: Webster Groves, MO

Deceased: March 17, 2019

Deceased 03/17/2019

Stephen John Barenkamp, M.D., professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University and director of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, died March 17. He was 67. Steve was born in St. Louis on September 2, 1951 and was a long-time resident of Webster Groves. Steve was the beloved son of Mary Iona Barenkamp (nee Headrick) and the late Walter John Barenkamp; dear brother of Deborah Barenkamp Roberson (John Sommerauer) and Patricia Barenkamp Cordes (Jim); and lovable uncle to Carolyn Moore, Anne Barenkamp (Jake Fisher), Julia Moore, and Kyle Roberson.

Growing up, Steve participated in many activities, including Indian Guides and summer baseball on the Optimist team. His life was enriched by his involvement in Scouting, and he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

He graduated with honors from Webster Groves High School, where he lettered in varsity tennis. He graduated from Carleton College, Magna Cum Laude, where he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He received his medical degree from The Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, where he was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

Steve did his residency and research fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Washington University, and was an assistant professor of pediatrics at Washington University before joining SLU’s faculty. A SLUCare pediatric infectious diseases expert, Dr. Barenkamp spent the bulk of his career at Saint Louis University, joining the faculty as associate professor of pediatrics in 1992. He treated children with infections, antibiotic resistance, and fevers of unknown origin.

Blake Noyes, M.D., interim chair of the Department of Pediatrics at St. Louis University School of Medicine, described Steve as an incredible colleague, clinician, teacher and scientist. Dr. Barenkamp’s National Institutes of Health-funded research explored a vaccine for haemophilus influenza, which can cause sinusitis, ear infections, and pneumonia.

 He was a nationally recognized and accomplished researcher, presenting at conferences and authoring many papers in high impact medical journals. He was a member of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Society for Pediatric Research, and the American Pediatric Society.

In Steve’s leisure time, cycling was one of his favorite activities and he rode most mornings. He also loved sports, especially Cardinals baseball. Steve adored spending time with his family, especially for Sunday dinners and holidays. He will be greatly missed by his family, colleagues, and friends.

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  • 2022-07-24 20:32:14
    Christopher "Chris" Green

    Steve was a a good friend who was quiet, focused and very smart. He was very highly regarded as a colleague and pediatric infectious disease specialist at St. Louis University.

  • 2022-09-21 11:12:27
    Louis "Lou" Wu

    When Steve aced the Physical Chemistry midterm given by Dr. Ramette, and half the class flunked it (me too), I knew he had a different level of intelligence. If you needed to find a role model for the introvert, Steve would stand out. Humble always, soft spoken and brilliant. A pretty good Rotblatt player and always with a big smile on the field. We laughed a lot in gross anatomy at the University of Chicago, eating lunch over our cadaver. Not many classmates will have an impact on our children and their children with his help in developing the vaccine for Hemophilus influenza.

  • 2023-06-01 10:42:30
    robert strauss

    One of the truly self-effacing and well-rounded Carletonians. He did have a flaw, though. I realize his provenance, but rooting for the Cardinals?

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