Reared by a single mother during the Depression, he began working as an errand boy, trained as a Navy pilot after high school and went to college on the G.I Bill then completed law school at the University of Southern California. After working as a St. Louis County prosecutor in the 1950s, he became an assistance county counselor, then first secretary to the St. Louis County Council before leaving to run the state Sen. Clifford Jones' unsuccessful campaign for county supervisor, the newspaper reports. Lasater then began his rise at Mercantile Bank, where he became chairman and chief executive at age 44. In 1975, he was indicted on charges that he had lied to a federal grand jury investigating a suspected scheme to funnel money from Mercantile to Missouri Gov. Warren Hearnes, the Post-Dispatch reports. Lasater took a leave from Mercantile while he fought the charges, which were later dismissed, and he returned to his post at the bank. In April 1988, Mercantile executives announced a merger with Centerre Bancorp., which also was troubled, but Centerre was lured away by a better offer from Boatmen's Bancshares Inc., the Post-Dispatch reports. Lasater retired from Mercantile later that year; the bank eventually became part of U.S. Bank. He had chaired the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce in the early 1970s, and at various times served on the boards of Washington University, the Muny, and Furniture Brands International and its predecessor, Interco. Lasater's wife, Mary, preceded him in death. He's survived by his sons J.B., Kevin, Timothy and Thomas, and a daughter, Laura, all of St. Louis, and five grandchildren.