Stonework St. Louis
Home                  About Us                     Services                        Project Gallery                        Contact Us


About David Suntrup - Stonework St. Louis
Stonework in St. Louis, Farmington, Bonne Terre and the surrounding St. Louis area.

Natural stone.  There's nothing else you can add to your property that will create the feeling of harmony with your surroundings more than stone.  With stone you can invite the timeless feel of wild hills and streams in to your own backyard.

I love to build with native and local materials or build with a pile of discarded stone torn down from some earlier work.  It is easy to build "New".   My joy though, is to build and have observers guessing "Is this fifty or one hundred and fifty years old?"

My love affair with brick and stone started at a very tender age.  I was three years old that Christmas morning when I excitedly opened what seemed like a massive and very heavy treasure chest.  The heaviest packages were almost always the best!  It was a collection of smooth and beautiful wooden building blocks . . . all these wonderful shapes and sizes!  I would sit transfixed for hours building and then BAM . . . I would destroy my creations so that I could start again. 

After a stint at Meramec Community College (Associate degree in Human Services) and a couple of years of counseling troubled teens, an old yearning began to eat at me.  I wanted to get my hands dirty.  I met someone who was to become the most influential person in my life (after dear old Mom and Dad).  His name was Jim Weatherly.  He was an old (seemed at the time) weathered bricklayer who came to St. Louis from the hills of Tennessee to make his fortune during the great depression.  He was orphaned at the age of 8 and grew up with his uncle's family on land so poor and steep that "the cows had two legs shorter than the others." 

Jim had a wealth of wise old country sayings. If things were going well it was "We're cluckin' in the hub" or "it's just like eatin' lettuce, ain't it?"  If someone was hard to get along with, he'd say "He'd complain with a loaf of bread under each arm!" or, much worse.  After serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II he apprenticed as a bricklayer during the building boom after the war.  I will be forever grateful to Jim for all that he taught me about work and life.  He taught me to lay brick and build fireplaces and with an easy, dogged persistence showed me how much two men could accomplish in just one day.

Two years later, I started my own little business and have been working for myself ever since (26 years).  With fairness, integrity and word of mouth advertising I have managed to stay busy all these years.  I believe that once a job is started, it must be finished before beginning something else.

About 23 years ago I was rebuilding a stone porch in South St. Louis when I was approached by a hunched up 76 year old man who seemed ancient to me at the time.  His name was Frank Kirshl.  He walked up, introduced himself and said, "Hi, I've been watching you boys.  I've laid stone for 50 years and can't stand retirement . . . My hands are itching to pick up a trowel and I think I can show you boys a few things."  Frank's family had been stone masons in Croatia for many generations.  My love affair with stonework blossomed in that period.  Every time I would get a stone job I would call old Frank and he would come out and help . . . cussing and bossing the entire time!  I still can and sometimes do lay brick, but stonework became my passion.

So, I invite you to take a few minutes to study some of the photos of my work.  I would be happy to come and talk to you about how a patio, path, raised bed, dry creek bed, rock garden, pond and waterfall, or timeless dry stacked retaining wall can add natural beauty and harmony to your outdoor space.  Or, if you want to bring the natural and rustic beauty of stone indoors, I look forward to showing you how stone walls, floors and fireplaces can add ageless beauty and warmth to your home. 


Update April 2009 - It is with deep regret I must tell you that because of my recent hip replacement and my Doctor's orders, I'm forced to retire from the work I love.  Years of digging have taken their toll. 

On the bright side, I want to introduce you to my long time apprentice, Justin Johnson.  He is truly gifted and has decided to carry on the business and the tradition by continuing as Stonework St. Louis. 

The photos on this site are all examples of work Justin and I did together.  Here is my letter of recommendation which will introduce you all to a fine young man and talented stonemason.


To Whom It May Concern,

My name is David Suntrup.  I have been a masonry contractor for over 30 years.  I’ve done a lot of brick work in the past, but have concentrated primarily on residential stone landscaping for the past fifteen years.  I have probably had well over a hundred people work for me over the years.  There have been only two of those men in all that time that had the “gift”.  Justin has that gift and has the toughness and tenacity to be a stone mason.  I have had the pleasure of working with Justin on several important projects, most notably the complete stone-scaping in the front and back yards at Gyo Obata’s new home in Ladue.  His help was invaluable.  He was attentive without being obtrusive and always willing to go the extra mile.  He did whatever I required to make the job come out well. 

I highly recommend him.  Anyone who reads this letter can feel free to call me at my home at any time.

Sincerely,

David Suntrup, retired
573-637-2553


I just want to close by saying the first time I saw a dry-stack stone wall and stone stairway Justin had done on his own, I was so proud I was moved to tears.   I will always be available to him as a mentor and consultant.  Finally, I want to thank all the hundreds of customers who have put their trust in me these last 30 years - - so many of you became friends!  It's hard to believe it's over . . . God bless.




About Justin Johnson - Stonework St. Louis

Justin Johnson - Stonework St. Louis

My first memories of being fascinated with stonework was when I was a small boy going to grade school.  I remember looking at the Pyramids and Medieval Castles in my history books and wondering how much time and skill did it take to build such long lasting structures.

As I grew older and became more mobile I started to notice with great interest the stone work in parks, on patios, dry stack walls, fireplaces and even stone houses.  When I got a landscaping job and actually worked on stone paver projects, I realized that I too was able to be creative working with stone and knew without a doubt that I really like stone work.


In the summer of 2001, I started working for Susan Thompson of Susan's Garden Design.  One of her projects included a large stone wall.  She knew it was a big project and realized that I was not quite ready for such a big challenge so she called her good friend David Suntrup to help.  Little did I know this was going to be the turning point in my life.  Over the next couple of weeks, David would patiently demonstrate and explain the techniques of masonry to me and we became fast friends.

For the next few years, David and I continued working together on projects and he was always sharing his knowledge that he had learned from working with Jim Weatherly and Frank Kirshl.

Now at this point in my life, I have the great honor of keeping our passion for the rocks that we use and the tools we carry alive for the ones that came before me; Jim Weatherly, Frank Kirshl and David Suntrup.  David Suntrup is not only my friend, he's the father I never had . . . and more.


Contact Stonework St. Louis at 314-606-2815 or stoneworkstlouis@yahoo.com

Home                 About Us                  Services                  Project Gallery                 Contact Us

©2006-2009 Stonework St. Louis - www.stoneworkstlouis.com all rights reserved



Stonework St. Louis

Stone landscape design, installation, repair and restoration
St. Louis stone contractors, landscaping, patios, retaining walls, walkways and more for over 30 years.
3864 Bates St.
St. Louis, MO  63116
stoneworkstlouis@yahoo.com