John E. Ahern, Jr., MCAA’s president in 1995 and chairman emeritus of the J.F. Ahern Co. in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, passed away on Feb. 12.
In addition to his service to our industry, John was passionate about giving back to his community. He served in leadership roles for several community organizations as well as his church.
John was born on July 22, 1935 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin to John E. Ahern and Kathleen (McIntosh) Ahern. John attended St. Joseph’s Elementary, St. Mary’s Springs High School and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1957. He also earned Honorary Doctorate degrees from Marian University and the University of Wisconsin Madison. John was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years Susan (O’Leary) Ahern in 2013, as well as his parents John E. “Don” Ahern and Kathleen.
John spent the early part of his career working in banking in Chicago and then returned to Fond du Lac to work at Peerless Milling. Upon the sale of the feed mill, John began his career at J. F. Ahern Co. John devoted a great deal of his time to numerous industry, non-profit and educational organizations. He served as president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America and of Wisconsin; president of the Fond du Lac Area United Way, Fond du Lac Rotary Club, Fond du Lac Festivals, and South Hills Golf & Country Club; director of the Fond du Lac Visiting Nurses Association, Fond du Lac YMCA, and Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce. John loved his community and was particularly proud of his involvement in helping direct the capital campaigns for Holy Family Church as well as St. Mary’s Springs Academy. In addition to these public roles, John quietly helped others through countless small acts and kind words.
John was an avid golfer and was a member at South Hills in Fond du Lac and Old Collier Golf Club in Naples, Florida where he enjoyed many winters.
John enjoyed taking family trips over the years to many different locations with his children and their spouses. These trips and family gatherings were well documented through his love of photography. John’s photos provide a lifetime of memories that are cherished by the family.
He was very proud of his children and grandchildren, Tripp (Colleen) Ahern of Fond du Lac and their children Erin, Shannon, Donovan and Maeve; Brigid (Rob) Waeldner of Yarmouth ME and their children Katie, Luke, and Matt; Tim (Rose) Ahern of Fond du Lac and their children Brendan, Sean, Egan, Owen and Colin; Tony (Linda) of Fond du Lac and their children Kendall and Jameson; Maggie (Brian) Murphy of Charlotte NC and their children Eamon and Flynn. His love for his family was evident and each time he spoke of them he had a sparkle in his eye. John also leaves behind his siblings, David (Janet) Ahern of Fond du Lac, Julia Kerrigan of Scottsdale AZ, Patrick (Trish) Ahern of Washington DC, Katie Falk of Milwaukee WI, and Mary (Brownie) Trainer of Houston TX. He is further survived by his brother-in-law John O’Leary of Winter Park FL and sister-in-law Kathleen Fieweger of Naples FL as well as numerous nieces and nephews.