Third-generation grocer Roger Dierberg, a former executive vice president of upscale supermarket chain Dierbergs Markets, has died at age 88.
Chesterfield, Missouri-based Dierbergs said this week that Dierberg passed away on Jan. 18 in St. Louis. He was a cousin and business partner of Bob Dierberg, the grocery chain’s current chairman, and served as the first chairman of the National Grocers Association (NGA).
“We always checked in with each other on important business decisions. That’s why we had such a successful business relationship,” Bob Dierberg said in a statement. “It was a mutual relationship of respect for each other’s opinions.”
Roger Dierberg graduated with an engineering degree from Purdue University and in 1962 earned his MBA from Washington University. He joined Dierbergs Markets in 1969 after a tenure at McDonnell Aircraft and, the grocery chain said, “went on to help make Dierbergs the company it is today.”
Dierberg also was known for his grocery industry leadership at the state and national levels. He became a founding executive committee member of NGA and the independent grocery association’s initial chairman in 1983. The Missouri Grocers Association (MGA) honored Dierberg as its “Grocer of the Year” in 1995.
“The Missouri Grocers Association would not be where it is today without the leadership and passion for the industry of Roger Dierberg,” stated Dan Shaul, executive state director for MGA.
A philanthropist, Dierberg took aim at food insecurity, launching a long-standing partnership between Dierbergs and St. Louis’ Operation Food Search and leading efforts for the Food Industry Crusade Against Hunger (FICAH) until his retirement in 2004. Later in life, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the Washington University Olin School of Business.
Services for Dierberg were held on Monday. His wife of 65 years, Barbara Dierberg, died in 2020, and he is survived by two children, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Currently, Dierbergs operates 26 supermarkets in Missouri and Illinois, mostly in the St. Louis area but also including a store at Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri. The grocer is known for its high-level service and fresh and prepared food departments. In November 2021, the chain opened a 71,000-square-foot store in Lake Saint Louis that marked a next-generation format for the Dierbergs banner, with a new store layout and interior design plus enhanced fresh departments. Due to open this spring is a 70,000-square-foot store as part of a mixed-use development in Crestwood, Missouri.