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KATHERINE BLEDSOE AHRENS August 27, 1926 - February 27, 2013 Katherine Bledsoe Ahrens, nee Katherine Elizabeth Kunkler, was born in Terre Haute, Indiana. After graduating from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., she received a master's degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin. She married Walter A. Bledsoe, Jr. of Terre Haute in 1954 and the couple reared four children: Karen, Kimberly, Alison, and Walter III. In Terre Haute, Mrs. Ahrens was active in many community and charitable causes. She served for many years on the Board of Overseers of the Swope Art Museum and chaired the museum's 21st Century Campaign. During the late 1990s, she served on a special advisory committee for the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology. Mrs. Ahrens' other board positions included the Family Service Association; the League of Terre Haute; the Wabash Valley Community Foundation; and Sycamore Manor, a HUD project for the elderly uninsured. In 1990, she founded the social services organization Volunteer Action Center, also in Terre Haute. Mrs. Ahrens and her late husband, Walter, were active parishoners in St. Benedict's Church. In addition to parish activities, their religious outreach included support of Sisters of Providence at St. Mary of the Woods, the Carmelite Nuns in Terre Haute, and St. Ann Clinic, which provides free medical and dental care to the uninsured. Mrs. Ahrens also tutored non-English speaking students attending Indiana State University through the local library's ESL program. Mrs. Ahrens and her late husband purchased a second home in Vero Beach in 1980 and Mrs. Ahrens moved permanently to this area after Walter passed away. In 2006, she married William Ahrens, also of Vero Beach. The couple were very active in Holy Cross Parish and various Catholic charitable organizations in the Treasure Coast area. In 2007, Mrs. Ahrens was invested as a Dame in the Knights of Malta, a sovereign military hospitaller order of St. John of Jerusalem. Mrs. Ahrens was a member of the John's Island Club, where she was a golfer and avid bridge player. She was also a patron of the local arts and other community organizations in Vero Beach. Mrs. Ahrens is survived by her husband Bill, her remaining children Kim, Alison, and Walter, and seven grandchildren. Visitation is from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on March 1st at Strunk Funeral Home, 916 17th Street in Vero Beach. A funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on March 2nd at Holy Cross Catholic Church, followed by a reception at John's Island Club. In lieu of flowers, the family requests charitable contributions be made to VNA Hospice House of Vero Beach. Arrangements are under the direction of Strunk Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach. An online guestbook is available at www.strunkfuneralhome.com Paid Obituary
Published in the TC Palm on Mar. 1, 2013