Louis Public Library Salutes
Adela Riek Scharr - The Early Years
Adela Riek was born on August 10, 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri to Max and Clara Riek. She had three brothers, Oliver, Hiram, and Edward, and one sister, Ruth.
She received her bachelor's degree from Harris Teacher College in 1929 and her master's degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1934. She taught elementary school for several years.
Mrs. Scharr began flying in 1935, taking her first flying lessons from a protégé of Charles Lindbergh. In 1940, she became St. Louis Lambert Field's first commercial pilot, its first woman ground instructor, and its first woman female flight instructor.
In 1939, Adela Riek married Harold N. Scharr, a Naval Reservist she met at Lambert Field.
During World War II, Mrs. Scharr added to her achievements when she became one of the United States' first women aviators.
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