Willard E. Ahrens, 86, of Edgewater, FL, died peacefully at Harbor Chase Memory Care facility in Vero Beach, FL on May 25, 2012. "Grampy", as he was affectionately known, was born in Springville, NY and lived there until he joined the Army Air Corps as part of WWII's "Greatest Generation".
While stationed at Maxwell Field, Alabama, he met the love of his life, Helen, to whom he was married for 65 years until her death in March of this year.
After a stint in the New York State Police, Will went to college on the GI Bill and became a science teacher. Later on, he joined the FBI where he was stationed in Cleveland, New York, and the FBI Academy at Quantico, VA. While at Quantico, Will was a firearms instructor and guest marksman for the FBI HQ tours in Washington, DC.
After retiring from the FBI, he enjoyed an active life, biking, sailing, woodworking, model building and spending time with his family. Will was, until recently, also active in the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Will and Helen fell in love with Florida after vacationing there. They moved to New Smyrna Beach and then to Edgewater Landing where they had many dear and caring friends.
Grampy was a wonderful husband and father. He had a boundless curiosity, an easy smile, and a hearty laugh allowing him to be a friend to everyone he met. He will be greatly missed by all.
He is survived by three children, Allyson Frantz (Steven), Leslie Barnes (Jim), and Mark Ahrens (Teresa); nine grandchildren Kristen, Gregory, Colleen, Pam, Lindsay, Erin, Kaitlin, Morgan, and Sean; and ten great-grandchildren.
Grampy had a favorite blessing:
AN IRISH BLESSING
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the National Alzheimer's Association
( www.alz.org ) to further research in finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease.