A tribute to our father, grandfather, father-in-law and friend.
This was my Dad:
Dad was the zoo, Coney Island, parades, sled riding,
Picnics, drive-in movies, and vacations in the car.
Dad was blue jeans complete with a hammer, wooden ruler, and a long sleeve work shirt.
Dad was the smell of lumber, hammering of nails, wet concrete.
Dad was three eggs, bacon or sausage, and a bowl of cornflakes; coffee with cream.
Dad was a bulldozer, moving dirt, digging foundations
Dad was horses and ponies, cows, pigs, and 50 chickens that needed slaughtering.
He was planting trees, fertilizing the yard, fixing the roof, and trimming the roses.
Dad was a to-do list that never ended.
Dad was Barq’s root beer – not those other brands
He was a white straw hat and a bushel basket filled with apples, plums, peaches, pears and cherries.
He was strawberry shortcake, ice cream, and lemon meringue pie.
Dad was poison-ivy (always in it; never got it!)
Dad was roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, and creamed peas.
Dad was planting the garden, mending fences, putting up the Christmas tree
Dad was the Catholic faith, Mass, the Rosary, and Holy Days.
He was son, brother, husband, dad, grandpa, and friend.
Though the Great Depression hit many families hard in the 1930s, Fred and Katherine Kahmann found reason to smile when they were blessed with the birth of their fifth child: Paul J. Kahmann was born on March 28, 1931, in Kenton County, Kentucky. Paul grew up on the Kahmann family dairy farm, which was where Thomas More College now stands. Paul and his siblings-Katherine, Fred, Rita, Henrietta and Norbert-worked on the farm, waking up at 4:30 a.m. to milk cows and complete their chores before school.
Paul loved living and working on the farm; perhaps that’s where he developed his strong work ethic. No one could out work Paul. His parents, Fred and Katherine, were deeply religious and were sure to instill moral values in their children. The family attended church every Sunday, and Katherine donated eggs and other food they had grown on the farm to the rectory and the convent.
Paul attended Blessed Sacrament Grade School and St. Henry High School. He always said his favorite part of school was lunchtime, when he and his friends could go outside and practice boxing with each other. When Paul was 16, he decided to leave school to help his parents with the farm. His father appreciated the help but reminded his son, “You’re gonna have to work with your back.”
One night at a Kolping Society dance in Cincinnati, Paul met a young woman named Rosemary Erpenbeck. He said Rosemary was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen and that he knew from the moment he laid eyes on her that she was the one. Rosemary was quiet and very smart, and Paul admired her dedication to her faith. They complemented each other perfectly, and Paul knew he would get into heaven just because Rosie was a part of his life.
The young couple was soon separated, however, as Paul was drafted into the Army in 1951 to serve in the Korean War. He was stationed in France and worked as a truck driver. Paul’s best memories of his tour of service were when he chauffeured the chaplain around Europe visiting many religious sites. After serving our country for two years, Paul was discharged and returned home to his fiancÃ©.
Paul and Rosemary were married on May 29, 1954, at Saint Agnes Church. The newlyweds settled into a duplex that Rosemary’s father had built in Fort Wright. The young couple’s home wasn’t quiet for long, because in 1955 their first child, Mary Rose, was born. Paul and Rosemary were blessed with six more children: Paul, Janet, Jim, Dan, Terri and David. Paul was a loving father who worked hard to provide for his family. Paul joined his father-in-law, Anthony Erpenbeck, and Rosemary’s brothers in the construction of fine homes across Northern Kentucky. In 1972, Paul and Rosemary bought a farm in Florence and Paul felt instantly at home. He enjoyed hunting deer, rabbit and turkey, as well as fishing and gardening. Paul was also a dog lover who found his best friends in beagles.
Paul retired from construction in 1979. He developed property and in 1986, Paul encouraged his sons to form their own construction companies – continuing the family home building legacy that still exists today.
Another love of Paul’s was his 15 grandchildren. The kids loved being with their grandpa and appreciated his sense of humor. Paul attended many of their sporting events, dance recitals, band competitions, school events and horse shows. The children adored him.
After 46 years of marriage, Paul’s beloved wife, Rosemary, passed away. Paul endured this tough time by looking to his faith and family for support.
In 2001, while on a bus trip to Washington D.C. for President Bush’s inauguration, Paul met Sarah Blanken. They spent the entire ride socializing, talking politics and discussing Rosemary. Sarah liked that he was a warm and interesting person who could connect with people on a different level. On August 30, 2002, Paul and Sarah were married. Paul was very accepting of his new family and treated his stepchildren, Lynne, Ed, Susan and Barbara, as if they were his own.
On February 18, 2009, while working in his garage, Paul unexpectedly suffered a stroke. He continued working up until the day he died. Paul will be remembered as an “Un-Kahmann” man who had a positive, encouraging spirit. He was an interesting and witty man who always had a joke for his friends and who believed that family and faith were all he needed.
Paul spent a lifetime building a legacy of faith and love that will be cherished forever by all those he left behind. He will be deeply missed.