Helen Klenklen

Granite City | Monday, January 4 2021 |

Helen K. Klenklen, 85, of Granite City, IL, passed away on Monday, January 4, 2021. 

Helen was born on December 2, 1935 in Boonville, MO to the late John G. and Lorene T. (Kempf) Klenklen.  Helen attended grade school and high school in Boonville, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO. 

In 1960, Helen began her 50-year career at St. Louis University High School (SLUH) in St. Louis, MO.  During those 50 years, she held the positions of Secretary and Registrar.  Helen loved work and her co-workers, befriending many of them outside of the normal work hours.  She especially loved the many SLUH students throughout the years who gave her great energy and kept her young.  She retired from SLUH in July, 2010. 

Helen was very active in her church and was a long-time volunteer of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul and Kingdom House (now LifeWise STL).  She was a frequent visitor to Missouri Botanical Garden (known as “Helen’s Garden” by family members), the Fox Theater and the Muny Opera.  She never met a stranger, and was always willing to help those who were in need, including feeding the homeless.

Helen was an avid reader and she loved to travel internationally and domestically, though she never found an ice cream she loved more than Ted Drewes.  She loved spending time with her many, many friends and family.   Her family will especially remember her for the crazy games she would come up with, her ability to laugh at herself, her kidding attitude toward nearly everything, her caring desire to always ask how others were doing, her ability to make others laugh and feel comfortable, the many hours of Lebb Cookie making, and how she dealt the cookies out of the trunk of her car.

Helen was preceded in death by her father John, and her mother, Lorene, as well as a brother, Herb J. Klenklen and brother-in-law Melvin C. Wilmsmeyer.  She is survived by her sister, Janet A. Wilmsmeyer of Granite City, IL, her brother, Robert L. (Juanita) Klenklen of Blue Springs, MO.  She is also survived by her sister-in-law Joyce (Watts) Klenklen, 14 nieces and nephews, as well as great nieces and nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Society of St. Vincent DePaul (1310 Papin Street, St. Louis, MO  63103), or LifeWise STL (1321 S 11th Street, St. Louis, MO 63104).

There will be a private family Mass and burial.  The family is planning a Mass of Celebration of Helen’s life to be held when the Covid restrictions are lifted. 

Irwin Chapel of Granite City in charge of the arrangements.

Obit Provided By:
Irwin Chapel Funeral Home

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