Major John E. Ahern, 82 passed away Wednesday, January 5, 2011.
John was born February 10, 1928 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the son of the late Clifford and Ima Ahern. John moved to Orlando in 1965 after retiring from the Army.
Major John E. Ahern was an Army veteran of WWII and the Korean Conflict.
John worked for the Post Office and Orlando Police Department before retiring in 1992.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mildred Ahern. Surviving children are John, (wife Kim) James and Michael Ahern. His only daughter Kathy Ahern is Deceased. John had 5 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
The memorial service will be held on Wednesday, January 12th, 10am at the Cary-Hand Funeral Home. The family has requested donations to be made to Hospice the Comforter in lieu of flowers.
Order of Service:
John Elwood Ahern
Feb. 10, 1928-Jan. 5, 2011
I would like to thank everyone for sharing this day with our family, thank you for your thoughts, prayers and the support you have lent us. It has been 7 days since our father passed away. The days have been hard on the family, but we have pulled together just as dad would have wanted us to. The family is strong. We are doing well and have found strength in each other.
Now, in the words dad would have said, please don't fret, don't cry, just help my family and yourselves to celebrate my life. My life has been blessed, I married the most wonderful lady on the face of the earth, had 4 children that grew strong and loved me. I had the privilege of serving my country, was able to fulfill dreams of flying and above all lived a fantastic life. I truly have been blessed by the good Lord.I once heard the saying; "it's not the date born or the date a person passes away, but the dash between those dates that define a per's life". Let me tell you a bit about our dad, he was a man of simple needs; he was able to achieve much with the time given to him. As I thought of what I could say today, one word kept recurring to me. That word was integrity. Dad truly encompassed that word.Integrity is defined as firm adherence to a code of morals and values.
This single word was the sum of his life, Dad approached each task, each job, each person he met with this in mind. He taught us to complete each task as if it were the most important thing in the world, to work a fair day for our employers, and treat others with respect. However, dad also taught us to enjoy doing all this with a sense of humor. For us sitting here today, you know dad always had something to say or would be something that just brought a smile to our faces.The biggest joy in Dad's life was his love affair with our mom. I just wish the rest of the mankind could experience just how devoted and how deeply he loved mom. She truly was his world. My brother Jimmy was asked once if dad had any hobbies or if he liked sports. Jimmy's answer was no, just Mom. The person asking the question just looked and asked again, well the answer was the same, "just mom that is all". When I heard Jimmy's answer, I thought to myself, how true and what a complete and comfortable life dad possessed.Dad did have one other passion in life, which was flying. I do believe some of his happiest hours spent were when he was by himself piloting his aircrafts. I remember the passion in his words when he talked of flying. Dad once told me as a boy, he met a pilot working on his bi-wing plane in a field near his boyhood home and from that minute forward he knew this was his destiny.Dad was a man of integrity, had a sense of humor, had a blessed life and deeply loved our mom and his family. So please, celebrate our father's life, it is what he would of wanted us to do here today.
Thank you, everyone for coming.As my brother stated we are here to celebrate his life and I would like to share a few stories with you.Our father took his grandson Michael back to Minnesota after he had visited-this was 10 maybe 15 years ago. His grandson at the time was young, maybe 5 or 6 years old. As the plane began to take off Dad would hold his arm out and let little Mike hold onto his arm as the plane increases its altitude Dad would apply more pressure as he raised' his arm imitating the take off little Mike would hold on tight as the plane increased it's speed and Dad would say "ok, we are flying now! Little Mike just loved it!We had visitors from out of state, I think it was John and Kim's wedding. Well, the crowd in the house was quite loud and it was getting quite late. Dad-who at the time worked for the post office, had to be to work very early in the morning. Well-I guess he decided he wasn't going to get any sleep in the house-so he dragged a small mattress through the house and into the backyard and laid it on the cold concrete of the carport-than he came back in the house got a pillow, a blanket and an alarm clock and tried to sleep outside-POOR GUY! Geez! His wife and his sister in law would sneak out to the carport and giggle like two little school girls at the this site-paying particular attention to the alarm clock perched on top of a cinder block-they would run back inside with tears of laughter rolling down their faces and inform everyone in the house about the man laying on concrete in the carport. I really don't think he slept well that night. Dad never said a harsh word the next day, he just asked, did everyone have a good time last night?Dad loved the military-as you can see from some of the pictures here today. When one of our friends would come to visit and Dad spotted them in the driveway before they reached the door-he would jump up out of his seat pull the door open and scream "STEP UP IN A MILITARY FASHION, SON". The person on the other end of the command would be a little surprised to say the least.
Dad was a practical joker too. When dad would go to Publix and was looking for an item to buy-he would find one of the female employees and ask her in a soft voice "My wife sent me to get this item and I can't seem to find it" . The women would look at him fondly and say "AW! That's so sweet" and she would pro eed to hunt down whatever he was looking for. The humorous thing about that was when Dad went with mom to Publix, these women would see him and say "oh! Hi! This must be your wife, what a lovely husband you have!
When Dad went to the doctor's office and was lead into the examining room by the attending nurse: the unsuspecting nurse would shut the door and explain that she was going to check his temperature, reflexes and blood pressure. After checking dad's temperature the nurse would check his reflexes using the small rubber hammer-she would lightly touch one of his knees and dad would kick out his opposite leg. The nurse would be flabbergasted, but she couldn't help but to laugh. As the examination continued the nurse would place the blood pressure device around his arm and begin to pump the small ball in her hand as she did this dad would raise his leg just a little with each pump until his leg was extended straight out when she finished. I can only imagine the look on her face when she walked out of the room.
Dad loved all the pets we had, also dad loved cookies, and so do our pets. He would sit on the couch and eat cookies and the dogs would move up as close as they could to him, pretending not to know what he was eating, but knowing they were going to get a treat and they always did.
On January 5th, 10 years ago he had open heart surgery; as Dad was being rolled into the operating room tears streaming down his face, Mom ran to him , kissed him tenderly and told him it was going to be ok, crying uncontrollably herself. When she sat down I saw something I never will forget, I saw my father's love for my mother in his eyes, I saw true love! I only wish the world could have seen what I saw.The prayer of St. Frances, the short version; this prayer embodied dad's lif