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John William Bachmann

John William Bachmann
  • November 16, 1938 - October 16, 2019
  • Charleston, South Carolina

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“I'm so sorry to hear of John's passing. John was my first Broker when he worked in Columbia, Missouri. I had just turned 21 and received my...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Ronald Nesladek - Horse Shoe, NC

“John Bachmann's vision and determination to scale up Ted Jone's idea of single financial adviser full service brokerage offices in smaller cities...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Alan Wright - Pawleys Island, SC

“May the Lord comfort each and every one of you in the loss of John. John was first a friend, second my managing partner, and third a mentor to me. ...Read More »
3 of 3 | Posted by: Laurens Floyd, Jr. - SC - Friend


John William Bachmann, son of George and Helen Johnson Bachmann, was born November 16, 1938. John and his younger brother, Mike, were raised in Salem, IL where they lived a small-town boys' life of sandlot baseball, much of it arguing about the rules; spent endless hours listening to St. Louis Cardinals radio broadcasts and freely roamed the neighborhood with their friends.
When the brothers were older, they spent much of their summer at a camp for boys in Northern Wisconsin. John often said many of the values that directed his adult life were learned at Camp Highlands, which today is owned and directed by Mike's children.
John was five when his father was drafted into the army and shipped out to be part of the D-Day invasion. It would be several years before he returned home, during which time John became very close to his grandparents, Charles and Naomi Chamberlin Bachmann. Long discussions with Charles, a merchant and local savings and loan board member, lead to John's life-long interest in finance.
From his late teens, until his death October, 16, 2019, John was an employee of only one firm, Edward Jones of St. Louis, Missouri. He started as an intern in the firm's headquarters while a student at Wabash College, Crawfordsville, IN and joined the firm as an associate upon completion of an MBA in Finance from Northwestern University in 1962. John opened the firm's 15th office in Columbia, MO in 1963. Seven years later he returned to St. Louis as a firm partner. He was named the managing partner of Edward Jones in 1980. Under John's leadership, the firm grew from 240 office in 28 states to more than 9,000 offices when he stepped down as managing partner in December 2003. In 2002 and 2003, Edward Jones topped Fortune magazine's list of Best Companies to Work.
While Edward Jones was John's only employer, he worked tirelessly for many other ventures. He was significantly involved, often as board chair, in most of St. Louis' non-profit organizations, including the City's symphony, art museum, science museum, United Way, and its regional business association. In recognition of his contributions to the City, he was named the St. Louis Citizen of the Year in 2002.
Nationally, John served two terms as chairman of the Securities Industry Association in 1987 and 1988, which was a period of great turbulence in the stock market and uncertainty in the industry. He was a member of the United States Chamber of Commerce Board, serving as its Chairman 2004-2005. He was a director of Trans World Airlines (TWA), the AMR Corporation (American Airlines), and the Monsanto Company.
Higher education was one of John's major interests. He was a trustee of his alma mater, Wabash College, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Claremont Graduate University (where for several years he taught a leadership seminar). He chaired the board of visitors for the academic center named for his friend and mentor, management expert Peter F. Drucker.
In South Carolina , John was a loyal Gamecock fan, and for a number of years taught a professional MBA leadership class as an emeritus instructor for the Darla Moore School of Business. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Columbia Museum of Art, including funding a gallery devoted to American Art. John and his wife Katharine Kay Inglis Butler-Bachmann, a retired University of South Carolina law professor, became residents of Charleston in 2007.
In addition to Kay, John is survived by his daughter Kristene Ellen Bachmann (Chris Napoli) of St. Louis his son John Charles Bachmann (Christine) of Zionsville, IL, his stepdaughter Katharine Kathy Butler Sandvoss (Keith) of Fort Mill, SC, stepson, Beattie I. Butler (Claire), of Charleston, and five grandchildren, Kyle Aldredge Bachmann, Kelly Lynn Nicole Bachmann, Jacob William Bachmann, Richard Keith Sandvoss, and Stewart Ashton Sandvoss. John is also survived by his nephews Timothy Bachmann (Carol) of San Anselmo, CA, Andrew Bachmann (Tracy) of Gainesville, FL and his niece Laura Bachmann Cubillos (Jose) of San Francisco. He was preceded in death by his brother Mike and Mike's wife Sharon Nothdurft Bachmann, formerly of Western Springs, IL.
Funeral Services for John William Bachmann will be held 2:00 p.m. on Monday, November 4th, in Grace Church Cathedral, 98 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC.
Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Downtown Chapel.