By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — As Bishop Martin Amos anointed the altar of the new Kahl Home’s chapel, Peggy Heydon pictured the faces of her mother and three aunts, daughters of Kahl Home’s namesakes, smiling down from heaven.
Peggy is a daughter of Margaret Wurzer. Margaret and her sisters, Elizabeth (Betty) Figge, Marie Kahl and Carmella (Honey) Sheehan, were daughters of Henry and Elizabeth Kahl.
Elizabeth, Margaret and the heirs of the Carmella Sheehan estate gifted the family mansion to the Diocese of Davenport in 1954 and a year later it became the Kahl Home, a nursing home. Now, 57 years later, another chapter in Kahl Home history is being written as residents, who moved in this week, settle in to their new home in northeast Davenport. The Dedication Mass of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Chapel and the blessing of the Kahl Home took place a week earlier, Aug. 15.
“I was so impressed with the blessing of the altar. I saw mom up there, Aunt Marie, Aunt Honey and Aunt Betty (Elizabeth). I saw their faces,” Peggy told her sister, Mimi Coryn, after the dedication Mass inside the chapel. “I saw their sweet smiles; I couldn’t wait to tell you,” added Peggy, a Bettendorf resident.
“I’ve never been to a blessing like this,” Mimi, of Davenport, said. “I know my mother and her sisters would be very happy about this. I think they enjoyed the old house, but I know they’re thrilled with this new house and I’m sure the guests will be, too.”
“All four of (the sisters) loved the Kahl Home,” Peggy said.
Other family members who attended the dedication Mass were equally appreciative. “I think it’s wonderful to see the transition from the old to the new, to continue the tradition to serve the older population,” said Tom Coryn, a son of Mimi.
“I’m a member of the Catholic Service Board (whose endeavors help support the Kahl Home)and I look forward to continuing to be a volunteer at the new facility,” said Mimi’s daughter, Ann Coryn Lohmuller.
Ann’s husband, Dr. Joseph Lohmuller, serves on the Kahl Home’s board of directors and said that the new facility “has been realized by an effort of the whole community. If someone would like to contribute to this community effort they can still do so. We’re still fundraising,” he added.