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
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