Fred L. Ahern, Sr. a long time resident of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, passed away on June 11, 2010, at the age of 83.
Mr. Ahern was born to the late John Joseph (JJ) Ahern and May Gertrude Ahern (Sullivan), February 4, 1927, in Jacksonville, Florida. He was married to his loving wife of 57 years, the late Lacey N. Ahern who predeceased him on January 1, 2009. His brother, Lt. John Joseph (Jack) Ahern, Jr. died serving his country as a U. S. Army Air Corps pilot in World War II. He is survived by his son Fred L. Ahern, Jr., grandsons Brent Riley Ahern and Mason Douglas Ahern. He will be sadly missed by his loving sisters Helen Louise Braren and Paula Elizabeth Pendergast and many devoted nieces and nephews.
His father moved to Jacksonville from Connecticut in 1896. His family relocated from San Jose in Jacksonville to the Beaches in 1936. Mr. Ahern attended Fletcher High School and graduated with the Class of 1944. After high school graduation, he attended the University of Georgia before joining the U.S. Army Air Corp in 1945 attaining the rank of sergeant and serving as a physical training instructor. He was honorably discharged in 1947. After the military, he attended the University of Florida on the GI Bill and graduated with a major in forestry and a minor in botany. He loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He and his wife Lacey spent many wonderful years vacationing in Bar Harbor, Maine and Vail, Colorado. They enjoyed many happy times with their friends bowling at Beach Bowl in Jacksonville Beach.
Following in the footsteps of his father who started in the real estate business in Jacksonville in 1906, Mr. Ahern returned home from college and began his real estate career in 1949 as a salesman in Jacksonville Beach with Townsend Hawkes. He went on to become a State Farm Insurance agent, real estate broker, builder, developer, and mortgage broker. During his career, he built over 1,500 homes and developed over 2,000 lots. He developed many areas of the Beaches and the surrounding Jacksonville area including the waterfront communities of Isle of Palms, Holiday Harbor, Ketch Cove, Seven Pine Island, White Shell Bay, and Tarpon Cove. Other residential areas he developed included Miramar by The Sea, Neptune Park, Pablo Woods, Atlantic Beach Villa, Oak Hill Manor, Courtney Woods, Courtney South Beach, Secluded Woods, Rip Tide, Ponte Vedra Landing, Westwind Condominiums, Lighthouse Point Condominiums, Las Brisas Condominiums and Sunni Pines Mobile Home Community. Commercial developments include the Sand and Sea Motel, Professional Center Office Park, Canal Utilities (utility company), Memorial Gardens (cemetery in Atlantic Beach) and Deer Park Industrial Park, St. Augustine, FL.
Mr. Ahern assembled the land for the Pablo Plaza Shopping Center (the first Publix in the Beaches area), Seascape Condominiums, Moorings Condominiums, Pelican Pointe Condominiums, Fountains Condominiums, Ocean Village Condominiums, and Pablo Towers. He negotiated the location of the first and second chain hotel and high rise in Jacksonville Beach, Holiday Inn and Ramada Inn, respectively.
He was a founding member of the Selva Marina Country Club and the Lodge and Bath Club in Ponte Vedra Beach. He was the past Vice President of the Jacksonville Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce, past President of the Jacksonville Beaches Board of Realtors, past President of Jacksonville Beaches Insurance Association, and a member of the Churches of Christ.
Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation at Hardage Giddens Funeral Home, 1701 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville Beach from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on June 17th. A Memorial Service remembering the life of Mr. Ahern will be held at 11:00 a.m. on June 18th at The Church of Christ, 422 5th Avenue North, Jacksonville Beach, FL.
Condolences may be sent to 2215 3rd Street South, Suite 101, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Memorial Contributions, One Waterfowl Way, Memphis, TN 38120. Words of comfort and memories may be shared at www.hardage-giddensbeacheschapel.com.