He was the soul of the place, breathing warm life into the old building in Hohenems and according to his statement even postponed his retirement when Kästle returned to the homeland. Kästle employees affectionately called him the "head of the house," because he knew every corner of the property, opened the doors every morning and locked them again in the evenings. Horst Wehinger had been working at the Kästle location in Hohenems since 1967, and was as loyal to the brand as one could be. On the evening of Thursday August 10, 2017, Horst passed away at the age of 78 following a battle with leukemia. He leaves behind a wife and two children.
Like all other Kästle family members, employees, and athletes, CEO Bernd Knünz likes to remember Horst. It was one evening when Bernd’s work kept him at the office longer than usual, the sun had long since set, and it seemed as if the office was deserted when Bernd went to lock up. However, all attempts by Bernd to lock the door were unsuccessful. What to do? Bernd could not leave the building open. Call a locksmith? Call Horst? It was already late and Horst was certainly at home with his family, thought Bernd. Suddenly, Horst came out of his office in the entry way in a stealthy silence. He greeted Bernd, who was rather annoyed by the jammed lock, and kindly asked him about the problem. Bernd described his situation, Horst took a screwdriver, and a few seconds later the lock was repaired.
There was nothing Horst could not fix. Armed with tape, cable ties and a pair of pliers, he could solve any problem. He knew all the quirks of the buildings, which all had their idiosyncrasies. He always got everything going. Every technical facility worked with a cry for help from Horst. His sovereignty was unique. "I've got something in the cellar," he said, and would disappear only to return with the solution.
Horst put no value on holidays. When he took the time to leave, he traveled quite modestly on transfer trips on the cruise ship Queen Mary for 2-3 days to the next port, hanging out once all other passengers had left or have not entered the cruise ship yet.Despite his illness, Horst was to be found daily in his office. Horst was a faithful soul to Kästle, like no other. He always brought commitment and passion to his tasks and even managed his own Kästle Museum in Hohenems.
Horst, how shall we ever fill the void you left behind? How to find the loophole in the old walls and fix any issues with the venerable Hohenems Hall? Who do we call when something goes wrong? Who will tell us the old stories about the former Kästle racers and find Kästle artifacts from years past? Your knowledge and your personality cannot be replaced by anyone, your pride in Kästle is hardly surpassed. Your saying, "Still better than a mouth full of wasps," we’ll take to heart and try to be as positive as we look at the things that do not run so well. We'll smile and think about you when things are jammed instead of letting it annoy us. We will never forget you.
Dear Horst, rest in peace and remain, even if your body has left this earth, us faithful with your good soul.