Obituary of Thomas Ahern
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Thomas Bolton Ahern of New Haven passed away peacefully on May 17, 2023 after a short recurrence of a cancer that had first been diagnosed and treated over 20 years ago. Throughout his 94 years, and right up until his final days, Tom had a lifelong love of learning, an impressive will to live, and an entertaining ability to amuse himself and others every time he found a way to jury rig something to save time, labor, or money. Tom was born October 13, 1928 in New Haven, CT, the eldest of three children to Cyril F. Ahern and Monica (Bolton) Ahern. He is predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Jean (Ward) Ahern, and his eldest daughter, Ellen Ahern-Lunn. He was also predeceased by his two brothers and their spouses, Edward and Catherine Ahern of East Haven, and Cyril and Kathleen Ahern of Branford. He is survived by his children Eileen Ahern of Camden ME (Whitney Landon, Brooksville, ME), Jean Ahern of New Britain, Thomas Ahern Jr. of New Haven, Monica Ahern of San Diego, CA, Christine Ahern of Obernburg, NY and Mary Ahern Flynn (Robert Flynn) of Ooltewah, TN. He is also survived by his son-in-law Robert Lunn, his three grandchildren Evan Ahern Landon, Clara Ahern Landon, and Dylan Flynn, and his nieces and nephews Carolyn Ahern, Edward Ahern, Steven Ahern, Charlene Brown, Cathleen Ahern and Joe Ahern. Tom’s entire life was intertwined with New Haven and its waterfront. He was born and raised on the eastern shore of New Haven Harbor, just a little over a block from the waterfront. And he spent the final 40+ years directly across the harbor on the western shore, just over a block off the water in City Point. His whole life he bridged the harbor; he liked to tell the story of riding the trolley as a kid from Morris Cove into downtown New Haven, then changing trolleys to ride out the other side of the harbor to City Point where he and a friend had a job. On Saturdays during World War II, they were hired to work on an oyster boat. They were only sixteen, but labor was in short supply as most of the workforce had gone to fight in World War II. Each week they went out and raked for oysters, then shoveled the catch off the boats at the end of the day. One of Tom’s other early jobs was working as a busboy at the famed Yale University Mory’s Temple Bar. Here, as a high school student, he was able to watch the weekly rituals of the Whiffenpoofs, the post football game parties, and the Navy V-12 members. In between his life at the two gateways to New Haven, Tom served in the U.S. Navy, and then earned his bachelor’s degree in Geography at Clark University. He met his wife Jean in New Haven, and they spent close to 30 years in Stony Creek, CT where they raised their seven children. Tom did many jobs to keep the family afloat – he was a welder, a salesman, and an entrepreneur (creating do-it-yourself sailboat and camper kits), before settling in as a property manager with the Hotchkiss Company. He retired early, invested in rental properties, moved back to New Haven, and spent many years managing his own properties throughout the city. Tom loved his hobbies – especially music. Piano was his focus for many years, but he also took up accordion for a while and later the ukulele. He and Jean even joined the “Kookie Ukies” an all-ukulele group performing at venues throughout the greater New Haven area. Mostly, he was a fan of American Standards, and all his children grew up with those melodies and lyrics in the background of their lives. Tom took his skills to area senior centers where he’d perform during weekly social gatherings. He also loved to sail and garden. Once Tom and Jean retired, they began to travel in earnest, and enjoyed trips to Ireland, Paris, Puerto Rico, California, and many winters in Naples, FL. Tom spent hours learning French and Spanish in anticipation of their trips. The City Point neighborhood of New Haven became a big focus of his later years. He spent countless hours promoting it, working on beautification projects, and even supporting young homeowners who wanted to invest in the neighborhood by holding their mortgages as a way to make their investments more affordable. Three people made Tom’s last years of life so much more rewarding: Clarence Dixon who was a daily help to him for many years and passed away in 2022; Paul Couzzo, who was his “friendly visitor” from the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut, and who became a real friend; and Marie Barbes, who helped Tom daily in his last months as a nurse, cook and companion, and who humored Tom when he needed it the most. Family and friends are invited to meet and attend a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 A.M. on Thursday, May 25, 2023 at St. Pio of Pietrelcina Parish at the Church of St. Vincent de Paul, 80 Taylor Ave., East Haven with US Navy Honors to follow. Burial will be private and at a later date. All Services are under the care of the Clancy-Palumbo Funeral Home (Clancy Funeral home), 43 Kirkham Ave., East Haven. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to a New Haven area charity of your choice.
Mass of Christian Burial
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Thursday, May 25, 2023
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
80 Taylor Ave.
East Haven , Connecticut, United States
Mass of Christian Burial
Please arrive at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 80 Taylor Ave., East Haven prior to 11 A.M. on Thursday.
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1928 - 2023
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