Berger Memorial Chapel

9430 Olive Blvd, St Louis, MO


Helen Ruth Kuenstler

April 6, 1925May 30, 2019

Helen R. Kuenstler of Granite City, Illinois, died May 30, 2019. Born on April 6, 1925, she was the daughter of the late Lena and Morton Kuenstler and the sister of the late Harold M. Kuenstler. She was a graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois and later received an M.A. in English at Washington University.

From 1948-1952 she was on the staff of Radford School for Girls in El Paso, Texas, and then returned to the St. Louis area to join the faculty at Granite City Senior High School. Here she taught for thirty-one years, serving as head of the English department. Taking early retirement enabled her to pursue her passion for traveling, reading, attending lectures, St. Louis Symphony concerts, Repertory Theater productions, and in recent years maintaining contact with many students from the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s.

In the words of the poet Walter Savage Landor, she “warmed both hands before the fire of life.” She is survived by nieces Irene Mueller (late Thomas J.) of Chesterfield, Diane Kuenstler of Edgewater, New Jersey, Susan Low (Steven C.) of Grand Blanc, Michigan, special cousins Myron J. Bernard (Audrey Rothbarth), Jerrold Bernard (Lisa), Risa Bernard Sibley (Greg Berke), and beloved friends Linda Kratz and Laurie Harsh. Beloved aunt, great-aunt, cousin, and friend. Helen will remain in the hearts of all who loved her, learned from her, and benefited from her generous aid to deserving students.

Services will be held on Wednesday, June 5 at 11:00 a.m. at Berger Memorial Chapel, 9430 Olive Blvd. with visitation at 10:00 a.m. Interment follows at B’nai Amoona Cemetary, 930 North and South Road. Contributions may be made to an institution of donor’s choice.


  • Visitation Wednesday, June 5, 2019
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, June 5, 2019
  • Interment Following Service Wednesday, June 5, 2019


Helen Ruth Kuenstler

have a memory or condolence to add?

Dr. Virgil Kambarian Jr

June 1, 2019

Ms. Kuenstler was an exceptional person! She was always able to know when I had not done my lesson! When she chastised me it was not in an abusive way. She only wanted me to succeed! I still remember many of her sayings such as don’t use a “lot” because that is a parcel of land and it is incorrect to use it in a sentence! She was a truly wonderful person who positively influenced the lives of her students! Rest In Peace Sweet Lady!

Wanda (Myers) Bilna

June 1, 2019

Miss Helen Kuenstler will be remembered with affection, respect and love. She was our Class Dean and attended many of our reunions. Our class graduated June 5, 1953 and it’s interesting that her date of burial is June 5th, 2019....66 years later. RIP Miss Kuenstler!

Max Prusak

June 1, 2019

Ms. Kuenstler was a profound influence on my life. She was a great teacher of much more than classroom subjects. She had a rare gift of seeing the potential of a student and encouraging the student to strive for goals that were beyond the student’s expectations. After graduating from GCHS in 1961, I annually corresponded with Ms. Kuenstler sending her a simple valentine to thank her for what she has done for me.

Rosalie & Ray Buente

June 1, 2019

Helen will be remembered as an exceptional Class Dean and a Special Friend in adulthood. Fond memories we have, Ray and Rosalie Buente

Deborah (Dye) Young

June 1, 2019

I did not have the privilege of sitting under Miss Kuenstler in the classroom, However the memories I have are precious, she was a wonderful example of what a true educator should be. She definitely lived her calling. Granite City High School was blessed and definitely a better school because of her. May she rest in peace.

Jerry Hamlett

June 1, 2019

I could tell you that Miss Kuenstler taught me how to diagram sentences, or how to write a theme, or stand up before a class and give a darn good book report and that would all be true , but more than anything this dear lady taught me to be prepared for each day. For the three semesters that I enjoyed her English class, I felt nothing but love and support from this dear lady. Ms. Kuenstler, "you are a shining star in and for your profession. I am so proud to have been one of your students."

Munyong Storm

May 31, 2019

Helen was a wonderful friend and will be dearly missed. We loved you Helen - Munyong and Gary Storm

Jane Gabriel Rozycki

May 31, 2019

There are not enough words to explain Helen Kuenstler. Because of her, I gained knowledge of English, writing, literature, travel and how to excel. No matter your grade your paper looked like it was bloody. Her classes were not just about English they were about learning. Yes, she was tough but life is tough. She prepared her students for moving forward in life. I went back to see her when I was in college; her support and encouragement were terrific. Blessed be, Ms. Kuenstler. You were the BEST!

Ronald Ward

May 31, 2019

Helen Kuenstler was a lovely and courageous woman who gave her students a love for history, literature, and the English language. A wonderful teacher who both inspired people and held them to high standards. Goodby Ma'am, I'll never forget you.

Sharon Engelke

May 31, 2019

Miss Kuenstler was my favorite teacher in high school. She opened up the world of Shakespeare for me and I will always have fond memories of her for this reason.