Edward Lawrence Harry Ahrendsen (1924 - 2017)

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  • "My sincere condolences to the family of Edward. May God..."
    - Cheryl Aurilia
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The Celebration of Life Memorial Service for Edward H. Ahrendsen, 92, were conducted by Pastor Gordon Buchholz on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 4, 2017, at 2 p.m.. at St. John's Lutheran Church in Audubon. Inurnment will be in the Manning Cemetery at a later date. The Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon was in charge of the arrangements.
Edward Lawrence Harry Ahrendsen, the son of Julius and Anna (Asmus) Ahrendsen, was born June 9, 1924, at his parents' home in rural Audubon County, and died Feb. 1, 2017 at the Friendship Home in Audubon, at the age of 92 years, 7 months, and 22 days.
Ed was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church northwest of Audubon. He attended rural school in Douglas Township; Audubon County then helped operate the family farm. In 1946, he was inducted into the U.S. Army. During his tour of duty he served in the occupation of Japan. He was honorably discharged in 1948 and returned to the Audubon area.
On Jan. 16, 1948, he was united in marriage to Ilamae Knudsen at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Audubon. They were blessed with two children Kathy and Bruce. They operated Ed's father's farm northwest of Audubon where they grew row crops and raised livestock until he retired from farming. Ed loved tomato juice and every year he and Ilamae would plant dozens of tomato plants and once they were harvested Ed would make hundreds of quarts of his famous tomato juice.
Ed was a member St. John's Lutheran Church in Audubon. Ed had been a volunteer with the Audubon County Fair for 43 years. He also was a big promoter of many other community and countywide activities. He was an Iowa State Fair Director and served on a number of committees in that capacity. He was instrumental in keeping the Audubon County Fairgrounds alive and flourishing. Ed spearheaded a drive to build the Agri Hall and in 1988, he took charge when the stock car racing track located at the fairgrounds was in disrepair. With the help of local businessmen and volunteers he completely rebuilt the track and promoted racing until he retired from it in 1995. His record with the fair includes work on the 4-H Youth Committee for six years, fair superintendent for four years, and vice president for two years and secretary for 30 years. In 1993, Ed was named Fair Person of the Year by the Association of Iowa Fairs for his outstanding service to the fair industry and received the Community Agriculture Award in 1984 by the Audubon Chamber of Commerce. The Ahrendsen family was also named as an Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Family in 1965. For many years Ed helped with a Roller Skating Party each Friday night at the fairgrounds for area youth. Many weeks over 100 youth participated in this event. Ed's commitment to young people and his love of the fair made him a great asset to the Audubon community and the State of Iowa. Because of his commitment he received the Hardee's American Heritage Award and was the first Iowan to receive this National Award.
Preceding him in death was his wife Ilamae Ahrendsen; his grandson Daniel Garber; his parents; his brothers and sister William and wife Lydia Ahrendsen, Alfred and wife Lois Ahrendsen, and Lillie and husband Elmer Bauer; his brothers-in-law Lenard Knudsen, Frank Knudsen, and Ernest Christensen; his nieces Linda Ahrendsen and Patty Lou Knudsen.
Survivors include his children: Kathy Garber of Perry; Bruce and wife Gloria Ahrendsen of Panora; his grandchildren: Brad and wife Stacie Garber of Surprise, Ariz.; Steve and wife Christina Ahrendsen of Granger; Luke and wife Bethney Ahrendsen of Johnston; Kylie Ahrendsen of Panora; his God-daughter Theresa Correa of Westchester, Ohio; his great-grandchildren: David Garber and Samantha Garber both of Surprise, Ariz., Georgia Ahrendsen and Baylor Ahrendsen both of Granger, and Lyla Ahrendsen of Johnston; his sisters-in-law Elaine Christensen of Audubon, Marjorie Knudsen of Des Moines, Deloris Knudsen and Marge Knudsen both of Audubon; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends
Funeral Home
Kessler Funeral Home
515 S Division St
Audubon, IA 50025
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Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Feb. 10 to Feb. 17, 2017