District’s biggest supporter recognized by Mehlville board, Knost

By Mike Anthony

Mehlville Board of Education members last week paid tribute to a south county icon by naming the district’s first-ever auditorium in his honor.

At the recommendation of Superintendent Eric Knost, board members voted to name the auditorium the William B. Nottelmann Auditorium.

What a fitting tribute to a man who has made such a lasting impact on the Mehlville School District, its students and the entire community.

During his remarks before the board voted, Knost said, “William Bernard Nottelmann is widely considered the biggest supporter ever of the Mehlville School District. He is a friend to all and has played a role in bringing music to the lives of so many young people over the years including, none other than, your superintendent.

“He has always been very close to this school district, one that he loves dearly …”

Mr. Nottelmann attended Mehlville High School and participated in the first Mehlville orchestra. He graduated from Mehlville High School in 1936 and then studied at the St. Louis Institute of Music.

Over the next 70 years, Mr. Nottelmann taught music, served as the first band director at Mehlville, opened a pair of music stores, founded the Mehlville/Oakville Alumni Association and helped spearhead the writing of the book “Reflections: a History of the Mehlville School District and Its Communities.”

Mr. Nottelmann retired from the music stores in 2000, when he was 81 years old. For the past 20 years, he has provided thousands of dollars of financial assistance to music students through the William B. Nottelmann Music Scholarship.

Given his lifelong support of the district, naming the new auditorium in Mr. Nottelmann’s honor was the right thing to do, Board of Education President Mark Stoner told the Call.

“When I initially heard it, I thought, ‘Wow, this is great.’ You have a pillar in the community who’s been involved in the schools, who has name recognition and in his own way beyond the school realm, he’s served students, adults and the community,” he said. “… To have Bill Nottelmann’s name associated with our auditorium, I thought was proper and fitting.”

Perhaps Knost put it best with this post on the district’s Facebook page: “I personally visited with Mr. Nottelmann on Friday to bring him the good news.

“He was overjoyed and it definitely brightened his day. Wonderful man and a wonderful way to honor his lifelong contributions to our community.”