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Jean Ahern

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Jean Ahern Obituary
AHERN, JEAN WARD Jean Ward Ahern, 84, of New Haven, formerly of Stony Creek, died peacefully in her sleep March 9 at the Mary Wade Home, where she was in rehabilitation after a hospital stay. Jean was the daughter of Mary Agnes McCarthy Ward and Joseph Ward of New Britain and Madison. She was raised in New Britain and attended Trinity College in Washington, D.C. She was a graduate of the Class of 1952, with a degree in French. After college, Jean moved to New Haven to work for the Public Library. She had all the traits of a good librarian: curious, well-read, and possessing a wide knowledge base. Although with her sweet, self-effacing personality she would deny it, she was one smart cookie. It was in New Haven that she met her husband of 61 years, Thomas B. Ahern. They shared many adventures together, including traveling, music and all that is involved in raising seven children. Together they visited England, Ireland, France, Canada, Texas, Cape Cod, Maine, Tennessee, Ohio, Florida and California. They belonged to the Branford Musical Arts Society and the New Haven Irish American Community Center. When her children were older, Jean went back to work. She worked for Yale University’s Physics Department as a secretary for 17 years. In her retirement, she longed for grandchildren and was rewarded with three, whom she adored. Jean was a beloved wife, mother, friend, colleague and neighbor. She loved learning and passed that love on to her children. Her smile was infectious, and drew all who met her into her warmth. She was a kind and considerate person, who often put the needs of others first. Her thoughtfulness was shown through her correspondence with friends and family. She was always sending cards and letters, often with newspaper and magazine clippings. Mail was how she expressed love and let you know that she was thinking of you. Jean liked opera, old movies, good books, bird watching and music. She played the keyboard and was learning the ukulele. Politics were of interest to her, and at one point she was involved in local politics, serving on the Representative Town Meeting in Branford. Later in New Haven, she was active in her neighborhood association. She was an early supporter of recycling programs. Jean leaves behind her husband, their seven children and their families: Ellen Ahern-Lunn and husband Bob Lunn of Hamden, CT, Eileen Ahern of Blue Hill, ME, Jean Ahern of New Britain, CT, Tom Ahern Jr. of New Haven, CT, Monica Ahern of San Diego, CA, Christine Ahern of Obernburg, NY and Mary Ahern Flynn and her husband Robert Flynn of Ooltewah, TN; three grandchildren: Evan and Clara Landon and Dylan Flynn; her sister Helen Manning of Willoughby, OH; many nieces and nephews; sisters-in-law Catherine “Kay” Ahern of East Haven, CT and Kathleen Ahern of Branford; as well as a large extended family. Family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12 at Clancy Funeral Home, 43 Kirkham Ave., East Haven, CT. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 13 at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 80 Taylor Ave., East Haven, CT 06512. Burial will be private. Condolences and guest comments may be made at www.clancyfuneralhome.com.
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Published in The New Haven Register on Mar. 11, 2014
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