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Master Sergeant James Edward Ahrens (retired), age 65, died at home in San Antonio, TX on March 18, 2012 following a courageous two year battle with cancer. He was born on December 22, 1946 in Norfolk, Nebraska to the late James Henry and Elizabeth Jean Ward Ahrens. He graduated from Norfolk High School in 1965, and Wayne State College in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. Following graduation, he spent one year teaching Science and coaching football at Niobrara High School before enlisting in the United States Army. On June 16, 1970, he was united in marriage to Janice Ida Gunderson of Odebolt, Iowa. Jim served his country for 20 years in the US Army, as an instructor in the X-Ray Branch of the Academy of Health Sciences, Ft. Sam Houston, and NCOIC of x-ray departments in military hospitals around the world. Jim enjoyed a lifetime of hunting, fishing and sharing his passion with family, friends and his coveted bird dogs. He will be remembered as a loving and loyal husband, father, son, warrior, story-teller and avid outdoorsman. Jim is survived by his wife, Jan; his daughter and her husband, Chrisy and Said Hanbaly; his son and his wife, John and Shellie; his daughter and her husband, Nancy Jean and David Bauman; two grandchildren, Emma and Benjamin Hanbaly; and his sister Pamela Maughan. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many close friends including Ruger, his German Wirehaired Pointer. Viewing will be March 29, 2012, between 5-8 p.m. at Chapel Hill Funeral Home, San Antonio, Texas. Funeral services will be held March 30, 2012, 1:00 pm at Chapel Hill Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Jim's name to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Published in Express-News on Mar. 28, 2012