Edward Wood Cissel died on June 16th due to complications from Covid-19 on June 16, 2020. He was 99 years old. Although not from St. Louis, Edward Cissell spent 19 years as the headmaster of John Burroughs School from 1967 to 1986, a pivotal time for the school. During Wood’s time, the financial position of the school was strengthened, faculty salaries were raised, environmental education benefited from the acquisition of Drey Land, increased community service by students, construction of a fine arts building and a sports and performing arts center, and many more improvements. Cissell and his wife (who was also influential in the school) were named “honorary alumni”, a title that only 5 other people in the history of John Burroughs School have held.
Cissell also served in WWII as a forward observer in a field artillery battalion in the Fourth Infantry Division. On D-Day, he landed on Utah Beach and fought in the battles of Cherbourg and Saint Lo, earning a Bronze Star.
Edward Wood Cissell is missed by the hundreds of students and coworkers whose lives he touched, his many friends, his four children, grand children, and extended family.