Last Updated on December 27, 2023 by Kroeger Funeral Home
Betty I. (Bauer) Cahalan died on December 26, 2023, at the age of 98. She passed away at Woodbridge Health Campus after a week of cherished Christmas visits and sing-alongs with family and friends.
Betty was born on September 8, 1925, in Logansport, the younger of William F. and Lillian C. Bauer’s two children. She graduated from Logansport High School in 1943 and matriculated to Mount Mary College in Milwaukee. At Mount Mary, she earned a degree in social work (in 1947) and made the acquaintance of the man who would become her husband.
Betty wed Dr. Leo Cahalan — the brother of her college roommate — on June 28, 1952, at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. They enjoyed 57 years of marriage and, in that time, raised five children and created thriving businesses out of their farmstead home, including the Doc’s veterinary practice and a Christmas tree farm and apple orchard.
For much of her adult life, Betty also worked outside the home as a social worker. Over the course of her career, she was employed in Rochester, with the Pulaski County Welfare Department, and with Woodlawn Center in Logansport. She also enjoyed volunteering in the community. Betty was a member of Logansport’s first Girl Scout troop, St. Vincent’s Troop 3, as a child, and as an adult she became its longtime leader, eventually earning the St. Anne Award for Catholic Girl Scout leaders. With her husband, she also earned the Pharos-Tribune Good Neighbor Award in 2000 in recognition of her volunteer efforts.
As all who knew Betty are aware, she was also a passionate musician. She played the violin for many years in the pit orchestra of the Logansport Civic Players, and, for more than 50 years, she hosted a caroling party that saw dozens of singers (drawn from the Cahalans’ family and friends) performing at houses and nursing homes around Cass County each Christmas. Betty’s passion for music may be her most enduring legacy, since the ever-present song in the Cahalan home has gone on to produce a number of career musicians. The Cahalan children and grandchildren have collectively directed or founded more than 20 choirs and performed at venues including Carnegie Hall and Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.
All of Betty’s children — Marilyn Cahalan of South Bend; Patty Connors of St. Paul, Minn.; Tim (Susan) Cahalan of Logansport; Carol (Pat) Deignan of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Tom (Joanie) Cahalan of Osprey, Fla. — survive. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Ryan (Abby) Deignan of Duluth, Minn.; Meg Kaster of St. Paul, Minn.; Sarah Cahalan of Chicago; Dan Cahalan of Milwaukee; Jimmy (Christine) Deignan of Wuxi, China; Laura (Alex) Berko of Louisville, Ky.; Emma Deignan of Brooklyn Park, Minn.; Shannon Cahalan of Cincinnati; Elizabeth Connors of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica; and Patrick Connors of St. Louis Park, Minn.; and by five great-grandchildren and many devoted nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Leo; her sister, Mary Margaret Mee; her son-in-law, Russ Connors; and one grandchild, Mary Beth Deignan.
The family would like to thank Geralyn Thompson, Erin Nowak, Jill Appolonio-Jeroski, and the staffs of McKinney Place and Woodbridge Health Campus for their many years of compassionate care.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, December 29, at All Saints Catholic Church, with Fr. Adam Mauman officiating. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 28, at Kroeger Funeral Home, and in the All Saints parish hall for one hour prior to the Mass of Christian Burial.
Kroeger Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to All Saints Parish or the Cass County Community Foundation. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home and church.
Messages of condolence may be conveyed to the family and community at www.kroegerfuneralhome.com.