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 www.rennerfh.com.
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.