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Dr. James's Story

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Dr. James Patrick Cahill, 88, of Preston, Iowa passed away on Easter Sunday April 16, 2017 at Mercy Hospital in Clinton, Iowa. He was born in LaMotte, Iowa October 21, 1928, the son of the late Joseph L. and Ethyl (Crotty) Cahill. He was a graduate of both Loras Academy and Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He also served as a geodetic surveyor in the United States Army during the Korean conflict, where he helped build new airfields.
On June 23, 1956, he married the love of his life, Marlene (Joan) Henneberry at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Garryowen, Iowa. They remained constant companions for over sixty years. After his military service, James graduated from Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University in Chicago, interned at Cook County Hospital and then started his medical practice in Preston, Iowa in November 1960.
For the next 57 years, he served as a primary care physician to Preston and the surrounding area. After several decades of volunteering as the team doctor at Preston Jr/High School athletic events, he received service awards from the Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa Football Coaches Association. He was also a physician at Mercy Hospital and the former Jane Lamb Hospital in Clinton, Iowa. He will be remembered for his deep faith and devotion to the Catholic Church. He was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Preston, serving as a religious education instructor, Faith Formation Committee member, and active supporter of the Right to Life movement.
He is survived by, and will be greatly missed by, his wife, six children, four grandchildren, two sisters, and dozens of the extended Cahill and Henneberry relatives. His children include Joseph (Chicago, IL), William [Ames, IA], Ellen (David) Pusateri [Fishers, IN], Daniel (Elizabeth) [Denver, CO], John (Soojin) [New York, NY] and Michael [Preston, IA]. His four grandchildren include Jacob, Anna, and Jessica Pusateri and Daehan Cahill. He was also the brother of Colleen (Don) O'Hea [Rockford, IL] and Jean Westercamp [Dubuque, IA].
He was a voracious reader and amassed a collection of thousands of books. His favorite topic was history and he loved to retell stories from his readings. He began sporting his trademark mustache during the Preston Centennial in 1970, vowing to never shave it because every year on St. Patrick's Day it would 'magically' turn green. He successfully cycled in the 3rd RAGBRAI and bragged that he beat the sag-wagon every day!
Visitation will be at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Preston, IA on Wednesday April 19, 2017 from 4-8 pm with rosary starting at 3:30 pm. The Celebration of Life ceremony and mass will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Preston, IA on Thursday April 20, 2017 at 10:30 am. Burial will be immediately following at St. Lawrence Cemetery in Otter Creek, where James' parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great grandfather are also buried.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Preston, IA 52069.
Published on April 17, 2017
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