Timothy Warren Kahrl

September 23, 1937 ‒ August 05, 2020

Mount Vernon, Ohio

Timothy W. Kahrl, age 82, died peacefully on August 5, 2020, in his home in Mount Vernon, Ohio.

Born on September 23, 1937, Tim grew up in Mount Vernon. He graduated from Western Reserve Academy in 1955 and Harvard College in 1959, where he received a B.A. in history.  Following graduation, he entered the Ohio State University College of Law. But in his third year, facing the prospect of an unfulfilling career practicing law, he left and entered Ohio State University’s history graduate program.

In 1965, Tim joined the English department faculty at Ohio State’s Mansfield campus, where he taught for the remainder of his 46 year career and became a beloved professor to generations of students and an admired colleague. Along with teaching courses on American literature, women’s literature, existentialism, and the Bible, among others, he served as chair of the English department; President, Vice-President, and Secretary of the Faculty Assembly; and the Mansfield campus’s representative on the Ohio State University Faculty Senate. He also helped to establish and advised a student sailing club, literary magazine, and theater program. During the latter half of his career, Tim returned to his first love–history–and taught courses on early America, the Civil War, and the modern United States. Following his retirement in 2005, Tim continued to teach as an emeritus professor until 2011.

Tim’s love for teaching was only matched by his passion for politics and commitment to public service. From 1972 to 1980, he served as Vice President of the Mount Vernon School Board and President of the Knox County Joint Vocational School. In 1982 and 1990, he was the Democratic nominee for the Ohio State Senate’s 19th District. As a candidate, he campaigned for higher state taxes on corporations, lowering tuition costs at public universities, establishing a state health care system, and protecting family-owned farms. He also served as the Junior Warden and member of the Vestry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; vice-president of the Mount Vernon Players; and committee member of the Knox County Democratic Party.

Alongside his wife, Susan, Tim performed in several theatrical shows with the Mount Vernon Players, including leading roles in My Fair Lady, The Music Man, The Good Doctor, and Gypsy. He was a member of the St. Paul’s boys’ choir and later sang for many years in the church’s adult choir and served as lay reader there.

A voracious reader, Tim’s intellectual interests and pursuits were boundless. From southern gothic literature to quantum physics, he possessed a depth and breadth of knowledge on seemingly any subject, and throughout his life, sought to instill a love for learning in his students, children, and grandchildren.

Tim will best be remembered and missed for his gift of storytelling and sense of humor, which could captivate and enliven any audience, from college students to grandchildren. For several holiday seasons, he served as the Talking Tree at the Lazarus Department Store in Mansfield, telling jokes and riddles and listening to children who felt more comfortable talking to a tree than Santa Claus.

From his workshop came the fruits of his hobbies that included darkroom photography, giant kites, lamps and furniture, high-fidelity electronics, doll houses, maintenance of a fleet of children’s bicycles, and two sailboats built from kits that he sailed for years at the Mohican Sailing Club, Martha’s Vineyard, and Apple Valley Lake.

Tim is survived by his wife of 47 years, Susan Thompson Kahrl, and their children, Andrew (Aileen) Kahrl and Allison (Charles) Plance; his first wife and friend Marsha Devin Kahrl and their children Michael Kahrl, Margaret (Jim) DeLaurentis, Melissa (Mark) Niday, Mettina (Frank) Carroll, and Matthew Kahrl; his grandchildren Steven, Jeffrey, Elodie, Muriel, and Henry; and his siblings Davida Steinbrink and William Kahrl. He is preceded in death by his parents Frederick William and Muriel Barker Kahrl; his brother John; and his grandson George.

The family wishes to recognize Erma Elliott for her caregiving during this past year.

The family will receive family and friends on Friday, August 14th from 5 to 7pm at Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home at 619 East High Street, Mount Vernon. Masks and social distancing will be observed.

Due to Covid-19, there will be a private funeral at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, August 15th, with burial to follow at Mound View Cemetery. The funeral will be live streamed at 9:30am on the Flowers-Snyder Facebook page.

A public reception will be held on Saturday, August 15th from 1 to 3pm at the Park National Pavilion at Ariel Foundation Park. Masks and social distancing will be observed.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

To send the family a condolence online visit: www.snyderfuneralhomes.com

The Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Timothy W. Kahrl.


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  • Susan and family,
    This is a sad day for many of us who loved and admired Tim. We have had some wonderful memories with you and Tim and we will continue to remember those times. Our very deepest sympathies go out to you.
    Ken and Jo

  • Dearest Susan,
    Tim was a very smart man who will be missed by his family and friends. We will always remember his humor and kindness. I loved when he would do readings for us. John remembers when he spoke at a Masonic meeting and completely captivated the crowd. Know that we are here for you.
    Gwen and John Hollback

  • Dear Susan, Alison and Andrew, My deepest sympathy for your loss. Tim was a brilliant man and a beloved member of our community. He will be missed. It was a privilege to know him, to share intelligent conversations and festive celebrations with him. Your beautiful family and his many accomplishments are his remarkable legacy. We are all here to support you during this difficult time. Peace be with you.

  • Susan and family-
    Sending my condolences to you all after the passing of Tim. His legacy will live on through you all. Sending prayers of peace to your family.
    With deepest sympathy,
    Katie Beach

  • Dear Susan,

    Sue and I send our condolences. We will miss Tim at Vestry meetings, always sitting in the same pew at church, singing in the choir, or reading the lessons on Sunday morning.

    It was a sincere privilege to have know him.

    Todd & Sue Mizer

  • Dear Susan
    Tim was a good friend who inspired us with his wit and wisdom. He will be deeply missed!
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Bill and Judy Harper

  • Dear Susan,

    This is surely a sad day for all those of us who taught beside Tim for many years at Ohio State’s Mansfield campus. I wish all of our Mansfield students had worked with Tim personally because intellectual inquiry was a joyful experience when Tim was involved. He was one of the few true Renaissance thinkers at Mansfield ever to enrich the minds of his students as well as those of his faculty colleagues. We, his friends, will miss him, but we will also feel sorry for those who arrived at Mansfield only after his retirement. God bless, and please share my condolences with Allison in particular, who studied with me many years ago.

    David Tovey

  • Please allow me to express my heartfelt condolences on behalf of the Mansfield campus of The Ohio State University. Tim contributed richly to the life of the campus in many ways over the years. His name is frequently mentioned in glowing terms when I meet former students and hear about the high points of their time here. We continue to be grateful for all that he did for our students and our campus, and his legacy lives on at Ohio State Mansfield.

    In sympathy,
    Norman Jones
    Dean & Director, Ohio State Mansfield

  • We are so sorry for your loss. Tim was indeed an intellectual and a delightful man. It was an honor to know him and a joy to see him. This is a loss for our community and he will be missed by many.

  • Susan,
    So very sorry for your loss. Our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to you and your family.
    John and Barbara

  • We are saddened by Tim’s passing. He was a special man admired by all who knew him. We will treasure the memories we have with him and our prayers go out to all his family in this difficult time. RIP
    Glenn & Georgia Jolliffe

  • Susan,
    Mike and I are so sorry to hear of Tim’s passing. What a beautiful life, lived by a man who certainly made sure to leave his lasting legacy. What a gift to many that sure will miss him. Feel our hugs, Susan.

  • Dear Susan and Family,

    So sorry to hear of Tim’s passing. Please know that we are thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Mike and Terri

  • Susan and family

    My sincere condolences to you and your family. It was a pleasure to have gotten to know Tim in the past few years.
    He certainly left quite an impression on those who knew him as is notEd in the tributes.

    Carol Navin

  • Dear Susan,
    I am so sorry to read about Tim. Our sincere sympathies are with you & your family.

  • To Family, Friends and those whose lives were touched and by Mr. Kahrl.
    The world has lost a very special person in Tim Kahrl.
    Eloquent teaching was just one of his gifts for all whose good fortune it was to have sat in one of his classes at OSU.
    Condolences to all.
    Tom Shepherd
    Treasure Island, Fl

  • To Family, Friends and those whose lives were touched by Mr. Kahrl.
    The world has lost a very special person in Tim Kahrl.
    Eloquent teaching was just one of his gifts for all whose good fortune it was to have sat in one of his classes at OSU.
    Condolences to all.
    Tom Shepherd
    Treasure Island, Fl

  • Oh no! I am so very sorry Tim has left us. He was simply special. I will miss him very much, even though these last few years I haven’t been out and about and seen him often. My condolences to all the Kahrl family.

  • Matt, We are so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. Our thoughts are with you and your family as you go through this difficult time. Kim and Tom

  • Susan and family , Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of loss.

  • Susan, I am so sorry for your loss. I remember you and Tim from being with you in the Mount Vernon Players. I can’t imagine the loss you are feeling……my heart goes out to you.

  • Dear Susan,
    Peter and I are so saddened by your loss. I hope you are comforted by all the wonderful memories of your 47 years together. The pictures of Tim with family, and especially with the babies, reveal his wonderful humanity and loving nature. I’m sure he was much loved and respected by his students. Our community has lost a treasure.May he rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing.

  • Susan and family,
    So sorry to learn of Timothy’s passing. Sending you our prayers at this time of your loss.

  • First of all I want to send my sincere condolence for your loss. I never directly met Mr. Kahrle but think I may have heard him as he was the “Talking Tree” at Lazarus years ago. My kids loved him and I just wanted to let you know that. I have a photo that might have been of him as he was talking. Thought knowing this would bring a smile to your heart as you grieve his loss. Thanks to him bringing smiles to my kids’ faces.

  • Susan,
    So very sorry for your loss. We didn’t know Tim but want you to know you and your family our in our thought and prayers.
    John, Cyndi & Andrew Wyatt

  • Dearest Susan and family,

    Words really can’t say how sorry John and I are for you and your family. Tim was a good friend with a great wit and always full of wonderful stories. We will miss him greatly.

  • Susan,we have just learned ofTims passing via California/David.we are very sorry.please take. Care. JoDo and Jim tornes