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Hugh McNair Kahler
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Obituary for Hugh McNair Kahler

Hugh M. Kahler HARVEY – Hugh McNair Kahler, 83, of Harvey, entered eternal life Tuesday morning, August 4, 2009, at his home, in the comfort and loving care of Lake Superior Hospice and his caregivers, who filled his last two years with laughter and love and made it possible for him to die at home as he wished. Born December 7, 1925, in Evanston, Illinois, a son of Frederick and Nina (Weber) Kahler, Hugh often joked that he was one of two great disasters that occurred on the same day, December 7. He was a graduate of the New Trier High School and from 1944 to 1946 served with the US Army in the Philippines during World War II, as a field artillery sergeant. Following his honorable discharge, Hugh attended Northwestern University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and, later, a Master of Science Degree in Guidance and Counseling. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity. In 1948, he married Dorothy “Deedee” Gregory when she was just 19, keeping their marriage a secret for a year and a half. Hugh had a passion for teaching and was a gifted and patient teacher who could explain physics and math to anyone, and did so whenever he had the opportunity. A physics, chemistry, and math teacher for over 30 years, his teaching assignments included Benton Harbor for 16 years, LaPorte, Indiana for 2 years, Northern Michigan University for six years from 1966 to 1972, and Bay de Noc Public Schools for 5 years. After a full career in education, he retired in 1978 and moved back to Marquette. Retirement, however, remained a busy time for Hugh as he continued to teach, tutoring at Lake Superior Village, serving as president of the Marquette County Humane Society, serving on the board of the Marquette County Commission on Aging, and as a member of the National Cathedral Society. Hugh and his wife shared a love of music, nature, and their cats. Besides teaching, his other passion was the work of the Marquette County Humane Society of which he and his wife were both founders and past presidents, both working tirelessly to promote its cause. Hugh was an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where he served on the vestry, sang in the choir, and served as lay reader and fill in organist. While residing in Benton Harbor, he served as choir director at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. One of his great delights was playing his beloved Hammond organ and singing Gilbert and Sullivan arias or hymns. Hugh always enjoyed the opportunity to trade jokes or banter with family and friends, as well as his caregivers. As he often said in parting, “Behave!” Survivors include his two children, Willliam (Valerie) Kahler of Fort Lauderdale, FL and Dorothy S. Kahler of Marquette; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Hugh was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 57 years, Dorothy May, in 2005; a foster son, David Minikel; and three older siblings. A memorial service will be scheduled this fall and will be announced. Memorials may be directed to the Marquette County Humane Society, 84 Snowfield Road, Negaunee, MI 49866. The Fassbender Funeral Home is serving the family.


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