In Memory-Teachers/Administrators

These pages are dedicated to pay our respect to teachers

and administrators who shared their gifts with our class. They

may have passed away but will never be forgotten. Please let us

know of any persons that should be included to this tribute. Thank you.

Ronald Kenney Obituary

Pat Voss has notified us that Ron Kenney, drama teacher at WGHS from fall of 1971 to spring 1995, passed away on Tuesday May 29.  He was 88 years old and had lived in Las Vegas, NV since 1998.  He will be cremated and his ashes returned to his hometown in Nebraska.  

 

Our thoughts and prayers for his family.

 

LAS VEGAS — Ronald Lewis Kenney, 88, of Las Vegas, formerly of Amherst, Neb., died Tuesday, May, 29, 2018, in an assisted living home in Las Vegas. 

A small family memorial will take place at his brother Pat’s home at a date to be determined. He wanted his ashes to be scattered on the old Wick place, across from the old Kenney home, south of Amherst.

He was born on Sept. 15, 1929, in Amherst to Lewis A. Kenney and Gladys E. (Murray) Kenney. Ron graduated from Amherst High School as valedictorian in 1946, later receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kearney (Neb.) State Teachers College and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in July 1961. He served in the U.S. Army from January 1952 to December 1953.

Ron married Shirley “Shay” Arnold of Kearney in 1950, and they were happily married until 1960 when she passed away from leukemia. Ron later married Shirley Schoonover, but they divorced after a few years due to a career conflict.

Ron’s entire life was teaching theater, a profession he loved with all his heart. He began his teaching career as a student teacher in Riverdale, Neb., moving on to Madison, Fremont and the College of St. Mary in Omaha, Neb. He ended up at Webster High School in St. Louis, beginning in 1971 and finally retiring in 1995.

 

He won several awards throughout his teaching career and at one point was named National Drama Teacher of the Year. Ron had a very large following on Facebook of former colleagues and students who have all expressed how he touched their lives in such a positive way.

Ron moved to Las Vegas in 1996, so he could be closer to his brothers. He enjoyed playing bridge with a group, playing the slots in the casinos and doing some traveling while he was able.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Shay; his sister, Shirley Ann; and his brother, Tom.

He is survived by his brothers, Dennis (Pat) Kenney and Dan Kenney, all of Las Vegas, and Mick Kenney of Kearney, Neb.

Paul H. Brackens

Paul H. Brackens

Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2009 12:00 am

Paul H. Brackens, the first African-American hired in an administrative position with the Webster Groves School District, died June 1, of leukemia. He was 84.

Paul was born in Lilbourn, MO. He graduated from Hermondale High School in the Holland School District at age 16, then did defense construction work until he was drafted by the U.S. Army at age 18. He served in World War II in England, France and Germany.

While stationed in Camp Hood, he took his weekend leaves in nearby Austin, Tex., where he met a Huston-Tillotson College coed whom he married following his discharge from the service. Paul and Earlene were married for 61 years, until her death in 2007.

Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to Missouri, where Earlene began her 32-year teaching career and Paul enrolled in college. He graduated with honors from Lincoln University in Jefferson City and later received his Masters Degree from Memphis State University. He was a lifetime member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

He began his career as an elementary principal in the R-3 School District, in Caruthersville, MO. He later accepted a position with the Missouri State Department of Education in St. Louis, where he supervised special programs in Vashon, McKinley and Roosevelt high schools. After a year, he became an administrator with the Webster Groves School District, where he served for 19 years.

Paul served as a board member with Edgewood Children’s Center and the Rock Hill Public Library. He was an avid golfer, a pastime that led to him working in recent years as a ranger at Forest Park Golf Course.

He is survived by his children: Paul H. (Anne) Brackens, Jr., Gregory Norman Brackens, Kevin (Vedia) Brackens and Judith Spencer; five grandchildren: Adria Spencer-Jones, Tenisha Brackens, Kevin Brackens, Jr., Jonathan Paul Moore, Sr., Paul Michael Brackens, and three great-grandchildren: Diada Jones, Kali Jones and Jonathan Paul Moore Jr.; one sister, Fleeta of Chicago, and one brother, Jimmy, of Dayton, Ohio.

He was buried with honors at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. If desired, contributions may be made to Mother of Good Counsel Home, 6825 Natural Bridge Rd., Northwoods, MO.

Jerry R. Knight

Jerry R. Knight

Died: Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Jerry R. Knight, a former longtime administrator with the Webster Groves School District, died Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 (see story in the Dec. 13, 2013 issue). 

Mr. Knight was born in Moberly, Mo., on Dec. 15, 1934, the son of Everet W. and Jessie (Cobb) Knight. He and K. Sally Holliday were married in 1984.

Mr. Knight received his bachelor’s degree from Missouri Valley College and his master’s from Washington University. From 1966 to 1996 he served as high school principal, associate superintendent and superintendent for the Webster Groves School District. He was board member and president of Education Employees Credit Union and a member of the First Baptist Church of Arnold.

Mr. Knight was the husband of Sally; father of Nancy Lindemood, E. Scott (Nancy) Knight, Heather Holliday and Mike Holliday; grandfather of Megan, Aaron and Katherine Knight, Bonnie and Bridget Lindemood, and Asher Holliday.

Memorial services were held Dec. 11 at Christ Memorial Lutheran Church, with visitation at Gerber Chapel in Webster Groves. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Howard Latta Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 31124, St. Louis, Mo. 63131 (www.lattaschlorshipfund.org). This fund supports Webster Groves High graduates in their pursuits of college and advanced training. Memorials and condolences may be left at www.gerberchapel.com.

 

Robert Cheek Band Instructor Plymouth and Hixson Jr. High

Robert Carson Cheek

Died: Sunday, August 14, 2016
Age: 84
Cheek, Robert Carson died at age 84 on Aug. 14, 2016, at St. Luke’s Hospital. Bob was born in St. Louis and attended Cleveland High School.

Mr. Cheek was a popular band instructor and director in the Webster Groves School District for 37 years, from 1956 until his retirement in 1993. He taught at Hixson Middle School as well as the elementary schools. Bob earned a bachelor’s degree from Washington University before serving two years in the U.S. Army. Later he also obtained a master’s degree, also from Washington University.

Bob’s patience and proficiency as a band instructor and leader for thousands of students during his 37-year career included a highly personal dimension. One student testimonial was that he “made all the kids feel special.” Another called him “a friend to all the students.” He was an effective motivator who made beginning students feel they could succeed and become excellent musicians. As a colleague, he was uniformly respected for his personal and professional qualities and integrity.

Bob was a man of tall physical and mental stature, strong and principled convictions, and unwavering dignity. He was a scholarly student of American history and related biographies. Bob’s lifelong commitment to students carried over to his being a devoted attendee at his grandchildren’s academic, performing and athletic events. His additional interests included being an avid Cardinal baseball fan and a friend of Christ Church Cathedral.

Bob is survived by two sons and two grandchildren, Christopher, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jonathan (Stacey) of High Ridge and their children, Sydney and Carson, and Christopher and Jonathan’s mother, Judy Cheek. Bob was particularly proud to see Chris and Jon become proficient musicians.

Visitation was at Kutis Funeral Home, 5255 Lemay Ferry Road, on Aug. 18 from 11 a.m. until the service at 1:30 p.m. Interment will be at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Humane Society of Missouri and are appreciated.
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Edwin Eggers and Olive Eggers

Edwin H. Eggers

Died: Friday, January 17, 2014
Age: 94
Edwin H. Eggers, an educator in the Webster Groves School district for more than 60 years and longtime Webster Groves resident, died peacefully on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at the age of 94.

Mr. Eggers was a beloved retired principal and teacher to generations of students and a well-known fixture in the Webster Groves School District.

He was born June 1, 1919 to Arthur and Lydia Eggers. He had five brothers four sisters. His biological mother died when he was in third grade and his father remarried. 

After completing high school Mr. eggers received his bachelor’s degree from Concordia Teachers College of River Forest, Ill. in 1943. He received his master’s degree from Washington University in 1948. While at Washington University he met his future wife, Olive P. Eggers.

Mr. Eggers began teaching in the Webster Groves School District in 1950 as a fifth grade teacher at Clark School. At the time he was the only male elementary school teacher in the district, something he often referred to as a “dubious distinction.”

In 1954, Mr. Eggers produced and narrated the first television series to give an in-depth look at prominent St. Louis area businesses and institutions. Entitled “A Look at St. Louis,” it aired on the then fledgling KETC Channel 9. 

In 1955 Mr Eggers was promoted to principal at Schall Elementary School in Rock Hill. An avid supporter of civil rights and an NAACP member, Mr. Eggers led the school through the turbulent transition of a demographically changing school and city in the late 1950s and 1960s. One of the awards he was most proud of was given to him by African American parents and educators upon his retirement designating him an honorary “soul brother.”

Upon his retirement as principal from Schall School in 1970, Mr. Eggers became audio media director for the entire Webster Groves School District. He was behind the scenes at most performances from 1971 until he could no longer maneuver the “cat walk” in 2011.

After his “official retirement” in 1979, he remained a sound and lighting consultant for the Webster Groves School District. In his retirement years he became known as the “Phantom of the Auditorium.”

Mr. Eggers was an active member of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association and the Webster Groves Retired Teachers Association. He often traveled to Jefferson City as an advocate for the Missouri Teachers Retirement Fund. He also volunteered for AARP as a driving instructor for over 20 years.

Mr. Eggers served a life dedicated to education and his influences reached well beyond the classroom. He lived life to the fullest and never passed an opportunity to stop and talk to people, especially children. 

Mr. Eggers was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Olive P. Eggers (nee Pollard), and daughter Margaret R. Eggers. He is survived by his son, Mark E. (Mary) Eggers; grandchildren Mark E. (Catherine) Eggers Jr. and Jennifer O. (Edvin) Toska; and a great-grandchild, Vincenzo Toska; brother of the late Arthur, Martin, Raymond, Paul and Gertrude Eggers, Adele Licht, Erna Geyer, Evelyn Heichelbech and Grace Blum; uncle, great-uncle, cousin and friend. A special thank you to Ruby Lathon for her devoted service.

Memorial visitation will be held Saturday, Jan. 25, from 2 p.m. until the time of the service at 6 p.m., at Kutis Affton Chapel, 10151 Gravois Road. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Howard A. Latta Scholarship Fund at Webster Groves High School, lattascholarshipfund.org.

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