Bernadette Kimutis

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Bernadette Kimutis, nee Heiligenstein, 94, of Belleville, IL, born May 28, 1926, in Freeburg, IL, died Friday, December 25, 2020, at her residence.

Mrs. Kimutis was strong in her Christian faith and was a member of St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church in Belleville since its founding. She prayed daily and had a devotion to the Blessed Mother since her childhood. Bernadette was fond of her alma mater, Notre Dame Academy, where she graduated in 1944. Her favorite things to do included dancing, crafts (especially hand-making greeting cards), proudly leading the red-hat society, playing cards, and being surrounded by her family and her friends at Grand Manor, her home for more than 17 years.  Bernadette was a member of the VFW 1739 Ladies Auxiliary and the St. Clair County Farm Bureau Ladies Home Extension. She was an extraordinarily selfless and dedicated mother and was loved and admired for her optimism and joyous love for life, her smile and laugh, and her thoughtfulness.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Vincent Kimutis; her parents, Adolph and Eleanora Heiligenstein; and her brother, Vincent Heiligenstein.

Bernadette is survived by her loving children, Anita Bevill, Gregory (Barbara, nee Becherer) Kimutis, Michael (Patricia, nee Bryan) Kimutis, Daniel (Kristine, nee Smith) Kimutis, and Maria (Thomas) Carroll;
15 grandchildren, Taylor Bevill, Nicholas Kimutis, Anthony (Emily) Kimutis, Elizabeth (Andrew) Austermann, Mary Kimutis, Michelle (Derek) Drayer, Patrick Kimutis, Bryan Kimutis, Maureen Kimutis, Jared (Monica) Kimutis, Alyssa (Stephen) Cooper, Nicole Kimutis, John (Nina) Stehman, Evan Carroll, and David Carroll;
seven great-grandchildren, Samuel, Paul, Anna, and Elaine Kimutis, and Norah, Naomi, and Elliott Drayer;
and a brother, Alois (Rose) Heiligenstein.

The family wishes to thank the loving caregivers with Hospice of Southern Illinois, and friends and family for their prayers.

Memorials may be made to St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church or to the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 30, 2020, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL. Standard CDC guidelines, including masks and a limited number of visitors at any one time will be observed.

Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, December 31, 2020, at St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. William McGhee officiating. Standard CDC guidelines will be observed. A live stream of the funeral mass will be held on St. Augustine of Canterbury’s YouTube page.

Burial will be at Lake View Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, IL.


14 Comments on Bernadette Kimutis

Diane Farley said : Guest Report Mar 13, 2022 at 7:32 PM

I believe Bernadette worked with my mother in law, Audrey Farley at National Lead in St. Louis. I communicated with Bernie as Mom called her back in 2010 when Mom was ill. My condolences.

  • Aurora
  • Colorado
Connie Jean Goyda said : Guest Report Jan 02, 2021 at 7:50 AM

Dear Kinutis Family, you all have my deepest sympathy on your dear Mother’s passing. She was a wonderful woman of faith and showed love and kindness to all Nay you remember her as she lived her life and know she will be with you always—-she is a special lady to the St.Augustine Parish Family.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Mike Heiligenstein said : Guest Report Dec 30, 2020 at 12:55 PM

I would like to add my thoughts to my brother John's above - she was a gentle soul and a thoroughly decent person. To my Godfather Alois, you have been a great brother as I am sure she was a sister - bless and protect your families. Mike

  • Austin
  • Texas
Stacy Syers said : Guest Report Dec 30, 2020 at 9:49 AM

To all of Bernadette’s Family and Friends My heart goes out to each of you. She was a true friend, a leader of the Grand Manor Red Hats, and wore the title of Queen Bernadette! She had a heart of Gold. We will Miss You! And May she Rest In Peace.

  • Energy
  • IL
Audrey Tinoco said : Guest Report Dec 29, 2020 at 12:39 PM

To the Kimutis family: Bernadette and I became good friends while working together at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows more than 70 years ago. Since that time, we enjoyed going out to lunch to celebrate our birthdays which were just several days apart. You have my deepest sympathy. Sincerely, Audrey

  • IL
Fr. Jim Deiters said : Guest Report Dec 29, 2020 at 9:30 AM

Her beautiful faith shines forth in her children's lives. Dan, thank you for being a witness to what she taught you. You and your family are such a blessing to us at St. Clare!

  • OFallon
  • Illinois
Jim Buechler said : Guest Report Dec 29, 2020 at 7:21 AM

My deepest condolences. So many memories, so many good times with our families. Praying for all of you.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Nancy Zahner said : Guest Report Dec 28, 2020 at 2:37 PM

My Dad, Elmer Reeb, would like to offer his condolences for Bernadette's passing. He also was a long-time resident of Grand Manor up until earlier this year. She will be missed.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Jim & Carol Cange said : Guest Report Dec 28, 2020 at 2:34 PM

We are so sorry to learn of Bernadette's passing. She was a great friend and neighbor. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Nashville
  • Il.
Sarah Buckles said : Guest Report Dec 28, 2020 at 2:22 PM

Dear Kimutis Cousins, Dad (Barney Heiligenstein) and I are so sorry to hear of your loss. Bernadette always had a smile on her face and bounce in her step. Just remembering her at her 90th birthday celebration brings this to the forefront of our memories. Due to Covid we won't be able to attend her funeral but will send a memorial to her church. Keep the joy of her faith in your hearts. Our prayers are with you, Sarah and Barney

  • IL
Kaitlyn Skaer said : Guest Report Dec 28, 2020 at 1:26 PM

My heart goes out to the Kimutis Family during this difficult time. I never had the pleasure of meeting Bernadette, however I know so many lovely members of the Kimutis family and I am confident she led her life with grace, compassion, and love like so many of those who love her. She truly sounds like an amazing person, and that is so evident by the loved ones she has. With love, Kaitlyn.

  • Millstadt
  • IL
Neal and Robin Luehr said : Guest Report Dec 28, 2020 at 11:48 AM

Hey Dan/Kris, So sorry to hear about your mom, but great to know she had faith in God and had the best Christmas EVER in 2020! Those with faith definitely have a different viewpoint in seeing loved ones pass, but it's awesome to know she is happy, healthy and wouldn't come back for anything. It is hard on the loved ones left behind. Prayers for you and your family.

  • Nashville
  • Illinois
Dennis Greaney said : Guest Report Dec 28, 2020 at 8:14 AM

Mike, Greg, Dan, Maria, Anita, So sorry to hear of your mom's passing. while its been a few years since I've seen her, and many years since I've seen some of you, I certainly fondly recall the many years on 15th Street growing up. And wow, what an amazing family she raised. My deepest condolences.

  • Key West
  • FL
John Heiligenstein said : Guest Report Dec 26, 2020 at 8:06 PM

To My Kimutis Cousins and Their Families. The wonderful obituary posted on Renner"s beautifully captures the essence of Bernadette, my Godmother. She was such a delightful person and always greeted me with great love and interest. She had a wonderful sense of humor and was so proud of her children. She will be missed, but more importantly, she will be remembered for the incredible, decent human being that she was. She will forever be part of my life and I am so grateful that she was my Godmother. With love to the family, John H. Heiligenstein, M.D.

  • Indianapolis
  • IN

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