Helen Muir

Jan 10, 2018
Muir_Helen news


Memorial Visitation from 4:00 to 7:00 PM, Tuesday January 16, 2018 at Locke Funeral Home




A memorial fund will be established.


Helen Lois Muir, 77, of Waterloo, died at Covenant Medical Center on Wednesday, January 10, 2018


She was born May 17, 1940 in What Cheer, the daughter of David and Helen Hatcher Graham and graduated from What Cheer High School in 1957. She attended Simpson College and William Penn University with a B.A. in education.


She married Terrance DeBerg; they later divorced. In 1999, Helen married Jim Muir in Waterloo.


Helen taught fifth grade at Kittrell Elementary School in Waterloo and retired in 1999.


Helen was a dedicated teacher and she continued to be passionate about education after retiring, often taking time to teach her grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoyed antiquing, fitness activities, cooking and baking, reading, and spending time with her family. She was regular fan at her grandsons’ events (baseball, basketball, recitals). She especially loved hosting (and spoiling!) her grandsons at her home during their breaks from school. 


She is survived by her husband, Jim; a son, Matt (Jennifer) DeBerg of Iowa City; a step daughter, Megan (Kirk) Fisher of New Hartford; two grandsons, Graham and Drew DeBerg; and a brother, David (Linda) Graham of Litchfield, Illinois.


Helen is preceded in death by her parents.

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  1. Josh Wilson | Jan 17, 2018
    I'm one of those people who can name every teacher or professor I've ever had. Many were wonderful, a few were horrible, and some were great. I was sad to hear we lost one of the greats last week! Mrs. DeBerg was my 5th grade teacher and she was sure a legend. She taught my dad, she taught my aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. She was a teacher that didn't just teach by the book, but insisted on touching your life. I am a better man today because of Mrs. DeBerg.
  2. Michelle Kaiser | Jan 15, 2018
    "Mrs. DeBerg" was one of my favorite teachers ever.  I was in her fifth grade class ay Kittrell.  My sister and I were new to the school, having just moved.  She was such an amazing teacher who inspired us with her love of books.  I remember Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh and a book about child abuse that was so heartbreaking.  She told it how it was and had a great sense of humor. My mom saw her regularly at the Wellness Center and she still remembered my sister and me and always asked for updates. She definitely made a difference in my life. Peace and Blessings to the family- 
  3. Joy McGrane | Jan 15, 2018

    I worked at Kittrell in food service the same time Helen did and we always had the best talks! I remember how excited she was when she retired. Every time I would go down the access road by SanMarnan and see her outside working, I would stop to say HI. She will definitely be missed by many. Condolences to her family.

  4. John Walker | Jan 15, 2018
    Mrs. DeBerg (as i knew her), was one of my favorite teachers.  She was firm, but so very kind and she was always very encouraging.  During her class, she would always talk fondly of growing up in What Cheer.  Everytime I go down I-80 and see the What Cheer sign, i always thought of her.  Years later, while I was going to UNI and working at County Market in Waterloo, she would always stop and chat with me.  God Bless her and the family.  She was the model of what a teacher should be.
  5. Korey Minard | Jan 14, 2018
    Mrs. Deberg was my 5th grade teacher and she was the best. I enjoyed being in her class and she helped make school fun!
  6. April Pratt | Jan 14, 2018
    Helen had all 3 of my children in her class.  They all loved her.  She was an amazing teacher.  
  7. Trinity Rogers | Jan 13, 2018

    So sorry to hear the loss of “Mrs. DeBerg”. She was my 5th grade teacher at Kittrell and my favorite. In fact, she also taught my older brother and sister as well. I remember the stories she would read to us, wearing her glasses on the end of her nose, and she would look up quickly and catch anyone getting out of line. I saw her at a resturant about 5 years ago and she still remembered me. I couldn’t believe that after almost 28 years and hundreds of children in her classroom.

    She was an amazing teacher that touched many lives. So sorry for your loss. Peace be with you and with her.


    Trinity Rogers and Family

  8. Heather Shannon Smith | Jan 13, 2018

    Mrs. DeBerg made me, the “new kid,” feel like i had been a part of that school forever, not just the two years I was there. It was a pleasure and an honor to meet up again as a student teacher and be able to tell her thank you. She, and my experience being the new kid, greatly influenced how I welcome, nurture, and include the new kid. I am truly sad she is gone. 

  9. Christy Steiert Frese | Jan 13, 2018
    Mrs. De Berg was one of my favorite teachers. I have thought of her many times over the years. I still remember her reading us the books, Where the Red Fern Grows and My Side of the Mountain. I look forward to reading those to my boys one of these days. She truly made a difference. 
  10. Penny Wilson | Jan 13, 2018
    Helen "Mrs. DeBerg" was by far one of my favorite teachers!! Being in her class at Kittrell was one of the best things that ever happen to me. Her love of teaching inspired us all. She will be greatly missed.

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