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Anne Ahern

1936 - 2019
Anne Ahern Obituary
(News story) Anne Ahern, who brought verve and understanding to the students and schools of the Lake district in northern Wood County, where she was an educator for 30 years, died Friday in her Perrysburg Township home. She was 83.

The cause was heart-related, her husband, Jack Ahern, said. She had Alzheimer's disease the last decade.

Mrs. Ahern became principal of Walbridge and Millbury schools in 1990. At her retirement, Walbridge School dedicated a garden in her honor. The school has since closed, and the monument has become part of her husband's garden.

At Walbridge, "the high point of her year was leading the Halloween parade down Union Street. All the children were in costume. She loved dressing up. She wore my academic robes," said her husband, who was a University of Toledo professor emeritus of elementary education.

Some years she was a judge, and some years a witch, he added.

"She loved being principal," her husband said. Her office at Walbridge was a room away from where she'd taught third grade for a decade.

"The faculty respected her, and the parents respected her," he said. "She would be in front of the door welcoming every kid by name."

In the classroom, "she was empathetic, enthusiastic. She could laugh easily, and she knew what to laugh at and what not to laugh at," her husband said.

Alexa Sandmann, a former colleague of Professor Ahern's and a friend since the early 1990s, said: "It's a tribute to Anne that the school district never wanted to let her go, that she had a chance to continue growing as a professional in a place she felt comfortable, and they felt comfortable with.

"She made a difference in so many lives - students and teachers," said Ms. Sandmann, now a professor of literacy at Kent State University. "Her mentoring skills were phenomenal."

She was a member of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church and its successor, All Saints Church, both in Rossford. She was a lector and had served on parish council and on the board of Altar School.

She also served as a trustee of Rossford Public Library. She was a member of the Perrysburg League of Women Voters.

She was born April 10, 1936, in Chicopee, Mass., to Cornelius and Kathryn Croke O'Brien. She was a 1953 graduate of Chicopee High School. She was vice president of her class, because she was a woman. Years later, at a reunion, the class president - a man - said, "'You know, Anne, you should have been president, and Anne said, 'Yes,'" her husband recalled.

She received a bachelor's degree from Regis College. They met when both were on the faculty of the Chicopee schools.

She and her husband visited Ireland at least 15 times and found family there. In Mooncoin, where they met her mothers' relatives, "we were called 'the Yanks,' and we were given royal treatment," her husband said.

She was a member of Belmont Country Club.

Surviving are her husband, John "Jack" Ahern, whom she married April 18, 1964; sons Mark and Matt Ahern, and six grandchildren.

Services will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Sujkowski-Walker Funeral Home, Rossford, with visitation after 11 a.m.

The family suggests tributes to Lake Local Schools, the Democratic Party, or the League of Women Voters.

This is a news story by Mark Zaborney. Contact him at [email protected] or 419-724-6182.
Published in The Blade on Sept. 11, 2019
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