Loving daughter and sister, devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, and dedicated educator, Lyra Louise (Haitz) Cahall found peace on August 19 at the age of 72, after a long battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a rare neurodegenerative disease.
Born July 10, 1948 to the late Irene (Fannin) and Joseph (“Tom”) Haitz of Ripley, Ohio, Lyra grew up in Ripley and graduated from Ripley High School in 1966. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Morehead State University in 1970. On June 14, 1969, she married her high school sweetheart, Dennis (“Denny”) Cahall, of Georgetown, OH. After settling in Georgetown, Lyra taught special education full-time in the Georgetown school system for three years before welcoming the first of her five children into the world. While raising her family she would regularly substitute teach in the Georgetown Alverda Reed Elementary School, and went back to teaching full-time from 2001 to 2009. In total, Lyra taught full-time and as a substitute teacher for over 38 years.
We can all learn at least three things from Lyra’s 72 years on this earth: Be of service to others, don’t be afraid to use a little elbow grease, and there is never a bad time for dessert. Lyra’s service to others spanned from the professional to the personal realm. She always put the wants and needs of others above her own, and she never sought praise or recognition, but instead worked largely behind the scenes. For years she helped students improve their reading skills by day, then cared for many sick and aging relatives in the evening, all while raising her five children. She was a member of the Altar Society, a volunteer Catechist, and a lector at St. George Catholic Church in Georgetown. Lyra was a member of the Georgetown Women’s Club and served a term as President from 1979-1980. She also served as Treasurer of the Georgetown Teacher’s Association. Lyra actively volunteered with many of her children’s activities, assisting with youth soccer, serving as an advisor for Olympics of the Mind in Georgetown schools, and she was instrumental in establishing the Academic Boosters at Georgetown High School. She often prepared meals for teams before big events, and was fond of hanging large congratulatory banners across the pillars of the front porch of her home so the entire community could share in and be aware of good news. Her giving to others was endless; her home was a rotating door for her children’s friends, always open with food ready for all. When her own children began having children, Lyra became an enthusiastic, loving, and supportive grandma ready for any game or imaginative scenario her grandchildren threw at her. Lyra’s service extended beyond her death, as she donated her brain and spinal cord for research, in the hope of helping others afflicted with neurological disease.
Lyra was never afraid to apply a little elbow grease to any situation. Her favorite phrase toward the end of her life was that she was “farm stock,” or as her children would say, a complete “workhorse.” Whether it was cooking all day for a holiday, digging in her flower beds, doing mountains of laundry, or scrubbing the floors by hand in the middle of the night, she never seemed to quit. She worked tirelessly for the benefit and enjoyment of others.
Perhaps her grandchildren’s favorite lesson was that there was never a bad time for dessert. She was known to have a midnight sweet tooth and toward the end of her life, ice cream for breakfast wasn’t a rarity. She would rarely settle to eat sweets alone, hence why the grandchildren loved this sentiment.
Lyra has many people who intend to live according to her legacy of lessons, but a few were particularly blessed to benefit directly from her legacy of care and love. She is survived in death by her beloved husband of 51 years, Denny Cahall; her five children – Perry (Marisa) Cahall of Columbus, Ohio; Lisa (Jamie) Spiller of Cincinnati, Ohio; Matthew Cahall of Cincinnati, Ohio; Denise (Jay) Holden of Mt. Orab, Ohio; and Kristine (Grant) Dosch of Cincinnati, Ohio; and ten grandchildren – Andrew and Claire Cahall; Allison, Katherine, Jackson, and Owen Spiller; Levi, Vince, and Avram Holden; and Griffin Dosch. She is also survived by her three siblings – Linda (Steve) Lenox of Covington, Kentucky; Tim (Kerry) Haitz of Southlake, Texas; and Mark (Tina) Haitz of Southlake, Texas; and ten nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Irene and Tom Haitz, and a preterm granddaughter, Caroline Cahall.
Relatives and friends are invited to a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 A.M. Monday, August 24, 2020 at St. Michael Parish, 16 North Fourth Street, Ripley, OH 45167, the church where Lyra was baptized, received her First Communion, was confirmed, and was married.
COVID-19 precautions will be required for all attending the funeral, including masks (supplied at the door) and physical distancing. The Cahall Funeral Home in Ripley, Ohio is serving the family.
In lieu of flowers, Lyra requested that donations be made to one of the charities listed below under Donations.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lyra Louise (Haitz) Cahall, please visit our floral store.
Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati
P.O. Box 75, Milford OH 45150
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Donor Services
P.O. Box 98018, Washington, D.C. DC 20090-8018
St. George Church/ St. Michael Church
16 North Fourth Street, Ripley OH 45167