Rural 06


William R. Ahrens

September 28, 1925 ~ November 14, 2018 (age 93)

  Former Wolf Point, Billings, and Shelby resident William (Bill) Ahrens was called to the Lord on November 14 at the Northern Rockies Medical Center in Cut Bank at the age of 93.  Bill was born on September 28, 1925 in Wolf Point, Montana to Fred and Lydia Ahrens.  Bill was the youngest of 6 children, brothers Edward and Vernon Ahrens, sisters Eunice Philips, Inez Rouis, and Eileen Sethre, all of whom lived into their 90's before passing on.

  Bill was raised on the family farm and attended elementary school at Southview School northeast of Vida.  He graduated from Wolf Point High School in 1944.  He was soon drafted into the military.  He served proudly in the US Navy on a destroyer, the USS Cowell during the later stages of the WW II and came under attack from Japanese Kamikaze aircraft.  He would later say that he got a free trip to Hawaii on his way over and free trip to Hawaii on his way home.  Like many veterans of his time, he did talk much about this time at War.

  Following his discharge, he went back to the family farm and caught the eye of Marion Stensland, who was a farm girl and school teacher from north of Wolf Point.  They had children:  Lynn, Linda, and Denise.  Their marriage lasted 58 wonderful years until her passing in 2007.  Bill enjoyed hunting, fishing, and playing baseball.  In the early days they farmed and had all kinds of livestock.  As time progressed farming was Bill's passion.  He spent too much time on noisy tractors resulting in considerable hearing loss as he grew older.  Bill was a handyman who spent time in the winters doing carpentry work or plumbing work.  He loved sharing the farming experience with his grandkids.  He was a bowler, golfer, card player, dancer, and especially enjoyed watching his kids, grand kids, and great grandkids school events, especially sporting events-going to a football game and basketball game last season.  He liked to "take a drive" around the farm to look at livestock, wildlife, crops, and to see what the neighbors were doing.  Bill served on the Wolf Point City Council, the Board of the First Lutheran Church and was a member of the VFW. 

  After most of their life in Wolf Point, Bill and Marion downsized and moved to Billings.  Here they enjoyed several great years until Marion passed away in 2007.  In Billings they were members of Peace Lutheran Church.  Soon after that Bill moved to Shelby to be closer to family.  Bill lived at Marias Manor where he found many new friends, especially good friend Delores Zell.  She became his card partner, traveling mate, and companion.  In Shelby, Bill attended St Luke’s Lutheran Church.

  Bill was a quiet gentleman.  He was religious, proud, honest, and hardworking--a true role model for his family.  Bill is survived by his son, Lynn Ahrens of Sunburst; daughters, Linda Brauer (Ray) of Gurley, NE, and Denise Schriener of Kalamath Falls, OR; grandchildren, Janae Ahrens of Kalispell and great grandson, Treyton Pickering of Bozeman;  Steven Ahrens (Afton) of Billings and great grandchildren, Emma and Evan Barr and Harper Ahrens; Jerri Thomas (Eric) of Helena and great granddaughter, London Thomas;  grandchildren, Lauren (Anton) Vasilyev of The Woodlands, TX, Aaron Brauer (Nicole) of Sidney, NE David and Morgan, Jarred Hanson (Savanna) of Helena, and Adrain (Sarah) Hanson of OR.

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