Farewell to Kevin, whose Irish eyes were ever smiling

KEVIN Cahill, the charismatic and popular businessman who founded Rugby Irish Club and the Regency Club and the established the Woodville Hotel, has died aged 75 after a short illness.

Mr Cahill was born in Kenmare, Ireland, on January 24 1936 and moved to Rugby in 1955. He went on to become an astute business owner and a popular character in the town. He married Clare O’Loughlin of Beleek, County Fermanagh, in Rugby in June 1960 before starting several business ventures.

His brother, Jerry Cahill, said: “He did a lot of good things for a lot of people and he always made time for everybody - that is why he was so popular. He never forgot a face, would always make time to stop and chat to people on the street and if you wanted something done, he was the man to talk to and rely on.

“He was a friendly face to so many people in town and everyone knows he had a great sense of humour.”

As well as his business ventures, Mr Cahill was a founding member of Rugby Catenian Circle in 1970 and did voluntary work for all three of Rugby’s Catholic parishes. He was also a prominent fundraiser for Rugby Doctor Accident and Emergency Call-out Service.

After working for Midland Red Buses, he worked at Sam Robbins furniture store and Co-op Furnishings Store before setting up his own furniture and carpet business, Kevin Cahill Limited, with his business partner Charles Bostrom. He later sold the business to Mr Bostrom, who established Bostrom’s.

In 1968 he established a residential home for the elderly called Lissona. His brother Jerry added: “People wanted Kevin and Clare to look after their elderly relatives because they trusted them. They knew Kevin would keep them smiling, keep them happy and take good care of them.”

In 1986 he went into partnership with Joe and Sarah Reynolds and established the Regency Club. In 1990 he turned Lissona into a business-focused hotel, the Woodville, which he sold in 2003 when he retired. He leaves four children, Kieran, Siobhain, Kevin and Dee Dee.

Mr Cahill’s funeral takes place tomorrow (Friday) at St Marie’s church on Dunchurch Road at 2.30pm. The reception takes place at the Woodville Hotel in Bilton Road.