Karl Richard Ahrens, 85, of Avon, Ind., passed away peacefully in Christ on Jan. 20, 2017, after a long illness. He was born on Nov. 13, 1931, to parents Harold and Martha Ahrens and raised in River Grove, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. A graduate of Luther College, he received his master's degree from the University of Northern Iowa. He was a teacher/coach in Harmony, Minn., and Waukesha, Wis. He later mentored many teachers as a junior high school principal in Oregon, Wis., where he retired in 1988.
He was named Athlete of the Year at Luther College in 1953, and was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984 for his achievements in football, basketball and track. He served as a radio operator in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Munich, Germany, during European occupation of the post-Korean War era.
In his leisure time he enjoyed the outdoors and sports activities of all kinds, especially softball, basketball and golf. His many hobbies included reading, traveling and bird feeding. He enjoyed attending all of the many sports activities of his three sons and seven grandchildren. He was an avid follower of the UW Badgers, IU Hoosiers, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts and Pacers, the old Milwaukee Braves, and World Champion Chicago Cubs.
A devoted Lutheran church member, he served in leadership positions on many church councils and committees in Wisconsin and Indiana. He also served as a volunteer for many community organizations, including Special Olympics of Indiana, the Hendricks Regional Health center (2000 Hour Award), and Brownsburg Health Care nursing home (calling Bingo). He spent years donating blood and platelets at blood centers in Wisconsin and Indiana, proudly reaching the Eleven Gallon level. He was a longtime member of the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators and was a member of American Legion Post 331 in Brownsburg, Ind.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Ahrens was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Elizabeth, and two brothers, Norman and Harold. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Myra (Aafedt) Ahrens ‘55; his brothers Robert Ahrens ’55 (Nancy), Phil, and Ben (Kim), and sister Lenore (Bob) Christensen; his sons Daniel (Tammy), David (Karen), and James (Diann); grandchildren Iver (Shiva), Marcus (Lauren), Michael (Ashley), Jaclyn (David) Schmitz, Evan (Angela), Drew (Megan), and Samuel; great-grandchildren Wyatt, Logan, Harper, and Lillith; and numerous nephews and nieces across the country.
A memorial for Mr. Ahrens was held in his honor at Messiah Lutheran Church, Brownsburg, Indiana, on Feb. 11, 2017. Donations may be made to Special Olympics Indiana, Make-A-Wish Indiana, and/or Sheltering Wings Center for Women in Danville, Ind.
Flanner and Buchanan-Speedway handled arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at www.flannerbuchanan.com