June 7, 1922 - Aug. 28, 2011
Edward Willis Ahrens passed away at home on Aug. 28, 2011, in Walla Walla.
Edward W. Ahrens was born June 7, 1922, in Verdel, Neb., to Henry and Ester Ludwig Ahrens. When Ed was a small child, the family moved to Norfolk, Neb. He attended Norfolk High with classmate Johnnie Carson, and graduated in 1940.
In January 1942, he was drafted by the Army and instead chose to serve in the U.S. Navy. He served honorably in World War II as a mechanic and chief engineer on a seaplane in the Pacific Theater. While in the service, he followed the Enola Gay in case the Enola Gay went down, to assist in the rescue of any downed airmen. He was given the Air Medal for multiple rescues of other flights.
After the war, he returned home to Norfolk and then decided to head for Alaska. In 1946, Ed and a buddy drove a Jeep to Anchorage to begin a new life. In 1955, Ed worked for Heaverling Fuel and the owners, Jim and Mary, brought Ruby Seaman home for lunch one day and introduced her to Ed. Ruby quickly became the love of Ed's life and on Sept. 2, 1955, Ed and Ruby were married.
Ed worked at Elmendorf Air Force Base as a heavy equipment mechanic until 1970. Ed then moved his family to Walla Walla, where he was employed at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a mechanic. He retired in 1975. He then went to work for O'Rourke's Mechanical.
Ed enjoyed fishing, hunting, cribbage, golf and the occasional Friday with his buddies, Earl, Charlie and Taylor, for a sandwich and a beer at the Blue Mountain. He was a 32nd Degree Mason in Walla Walla Lodge #7, F. and A. M.
Ed was preceded in death by Ruby in 2005. He is survived by his daughters, Linda Ahrens of Walla Walla who was by his side as he passed, Eddye Ann Moini (Hossein) of Lawton, Okla., and Marie Kneizys (Chris) of Newtown Square, Pa., and adopted daughter, Suzanne Lease (Denny) of Walla Walla; sister, Betty Lind of Pilger, Neb. Ed enjoyed six granddaughters and one great grandson.
The graveside funeral service will be held on Friday, Sept. 2, at 11 a.m. at the Mountain View Cemetery, Masonic Section with the Masonic Ritualistic Team and the VFW Honor Guard officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Biker's Reaching Out through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA.