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Stephanie Ahlbom

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Stephanie Ahlbom of Apex, N.C., formerly of West Chester Stephanie Ahlbom, 30, of Apex, N.C. passed away unexpectedly on February 10, 2012. She was born to Steven and Cindy (Fessler) Ahlbom of Chapel Hill, N.C. (formerly of Macon, Mo. and West Chester, Pa.) on March 13, 1981 in Santa Barbara, Calif. She lived in the West Chester area until 2000, attending Henderson High School, then graduating with a bachelor's degree in biology and psychology from the University of Delaware. Stephanie was currently pursuing a master's degree in occupational therapy at UNC-Chapel Hill. She was an advocate, caretaker and special education teacher for autistic children for many years and aspired to help those with disabilities lead more fulfilling lives. She was employed by Duke Medical Center's Comprehensive Cancer Center, before returning to graduate school. She developed a passion for training, showing and loving dogs of all types at the age of 10. Stephanie was awarded American Kennel Club scholarships in 2001 and 2002, and was employed by the AKC headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. for several years. She also traveled extensively as a marketing consultant for Nestle Purina-sponsored dog shows. She was very active with several animal rescue groups, providing a foster home and medical care for at-risk dogs until the perfect "forever" home could be found for them. There was never a dull moment around her house, where her parents often dropped by to play with the "grand-pups". Stephanie is survived by her parents; paternal grandmother, Daisy Tabor of Macon, Mo.; two maternal aunts, Cleo Cook of Macon and Cheryl Thompson of Nehawka, Neb.; cousins and great aunts. She was preceded in death by her paternal grandfather, William R. Tabor of Macon and her maternal grandparents Leo and Kathleen Fessler of Macon. A private memorial service will be held in the future in Santa Barbara, Calif. at Stephanie's request.

Published in The Daily Local on Feb. 26, 2012
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