Eleanor J. Waltuch

February 26, 1920May 4, 2018

Eleanor Waltuch died peacefully on Friday evening, May 4, in Leawood, KS. She was born in St. Louis, Mo. on February 26, 1920, the daughter of Michael and Anna Mathes and the sister of Dr. Sydney B. Mathes, all deceased. Her beloved husband of 61 years, Hy A. Waltuch, a former mayor of Clayton, MO, died in February, 2001.

She earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at Washington University in St. Louis, where she taught freshman and sophomore English for many years and served as assistant dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she was secretary of the Beta Chapter while on the faculty at Washington University.

Upon retirement, she served as a docent at the St. Louis Art Museum for 19 years, and was the first woman on the St. Louis County Civil Service Commission. She was a member of the Human Research Committee of St. John’s Mercy Medical Center; the Grand Jurors’ Association of St. Louis County; and The Pioneers, oldest extant women’s literary club in the U.S.

In 2003, two years after Hy’s death, she moved from Clayton, MO, where they had lived their entire married life except two years during U.S. Navy service. She moved to Brookdale Leawood to be near her oldest daughter and granddaughter and their families. She joined the Leawood Woman’s Club and was active in the Literature Group.

She is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law – Jean and Dr. Morris Wise of Leawood, and Laura and Robert Fleder of New York, NY; six grandchildren – Dr. Amy Gemperli (Karl), of Leawood, Roger Wise (Amanda) of Washington, D.C., Andrew Wise of London, Daniel Fleder (Dr. Lindsey Jubelt) of New York, NY, Anna Fleder Connolly (J.P.) of New York, NY, and Michael Fleder of Boston, MA; seven great-grandchildren – Nicholas and Katie Gemperli of Leawood, Charlotte and Quentin Wise of Washington, D.C., Leah Wise of London, Nora Connolly of New York, whose sister is expected soon, and Max Fleder of New York; and her best friend, Bill Donaldson of Leawood.

The family will hold a private memorial service at a later date. Please share a fond memory or condolence at Arrgmts: McGilley State Line Chapel, 816-942-6180


Eleanor J. Waltuch

have a memory or condolence to add?

Stephanie Hamil

July 29, 2018

Months later, Eleanor is yet in my thoughts because of her pleasing and engaging manner. After our Leawood Literary group no longer met, I would call to chat with Eleanor as she was so easy to talk with. (Please forgive my having ended a sentence with a preposition, Eleanor).
Such a lovely woman. I miss her.

Alice Muckerman

June 11, 2018

Eleanor was one of my mentors in the Docent program at the Saint Louis Art Museum when I entered it 30 years ago and I quickly discovered her kindness, her humor and vast knowledge of our collection and the visitors who appeared for tours. Eleanor was always enthusiastic and made the tour informative and professional , but loads of fun! Her warmth was felt by all the docents and she was respected and loved by so many at the museum. She was one of my go-to’s for advice and friendship and I have missed her when she moved to Leawood to be with Jean, my 6th grade teacher (and one of my favorites) at Mary Institute ,as it turns out!
So many women today could learn from Eleanor’s example. She strove for incredible accomplishment , but always thought of others before herself. Rest In Peace, Girlfriend!

Susie Weitzer

May 10, 2018

Eleanor was a wonderful cousin and role model. Even at a young age, I knew that she worked outside of the home at a time that most female adults I knew (i.e. my mom and friends' moms) certainly didn't. And on top of that, she was a dean!

She was instrumental in me joining Pioneers, even hosting a luncheon on my behalf. I think through that association, I truly learned how brilliant and kind she was.

I loved being with my mom's side of the family--Aunt Anna and Aunt Pearl of course and Eleanor was so much a part of all those memories.

Eleanor was a very special person--we were all lucky to know and love her. She will be missed, but she shared herself so freely with others, we take a lot of her with us.

All my love,
Susie Yalem Weitzer
Gerry's daughter and Ruth's granddaughter

Gerry Prell

May 10, 2018

My favorite cousin! Our mothers were sisters. When she married Hy, I was nine years old. I remember the wedding at the Coronado Hotel vividly. She hosted my spinster dinner the night before I was married at her home.

She and I took a class together in astronomy at the Planetarium. I lived in Florida for 15 years, but came back to visit St. Louis twice a year and always had lunch with Eleanor. The last time I saw her, I visited her in Kansas City with my daughter Susie and my grandaughter Rachel.

Besides being brilliant and accomplished, she was the sweetest and kindest woman I have ever known.

My deepest sympathy and condolences to the entire family.
Gerry Ettlinger Prell