Nov. 12, 1921 Huntington Huntington County Indiana, USA
Sep. 21, 2010 Indianapolis Marion County Indiana, USA
Major General Alfred F. Ahner, 88, of Indianapolis, passed away September 21, 2010.
He was born on November 12, 1921 in Huntington, IN, to the late Ray and Katheryn Ahner.
Alfred was a graduate of the University of Indianapolis, and received his Master's Degree from Butler University. Major General Ahner was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant in the Indiana National Guard on January 27, 1948. While serving in the Indiana National Guard, General Ahner pursued his civilian education and embarked on a teaching career. He devoted six years as a teacher in the Frankfort, Indiana School System before being appointed as a full-time member of the Guard in 1953. He entered the Indiana Army National Guard following a highly successful term of service in World War II. At war's end, he was the first De-Nazification Officer over the American Zone of Vienna, Austria. For this service, he was personally recognized with a letter of Commendation and a Certificate of Commendation from General Mark Wayne Clark, Allied Commander in Africa and Italy in World War II.
A highly decorated officer, he received the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Commendation Ribbon with Medal Pendent, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European Theatre Medal with Three Battle Stars for Ground Combat in Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe, World War II Victory Medal, Army Occupation Medal-Germany, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Guard Minute Man Award, Certificate of Commendation from General Mark Clark, Indiana Distinguished Service Medal, Indiana Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Indiana Long Service Medal, Indiana Volunteer Emblem, Indiana Emergency Service Ribbon, Army National Guard Recruiter Badge, Selective Service System Meritorious Service Award and NGAUS Distinguished Service Medal.
After serving in a variety of staff positions at the company, battalion, and state levels, he was appointed by Governor Harold Handley as The Adjutant General from August 16, 1960 until January 8, 1961. On August 1, 1972, he was again appointed as Adjutant General by Governor Edgar D. Whitcomb and served until his retirement on June 30, 1986. He served as Indiana's Adjutant General for a combined total of 15 years, for four Governors.
Particularly active with the Indianapolis Service Club, Maj. Gen. Ahner spent much of his retirement supporting the group's philanthropic efforts, including the raising of funds for the USS Indianapolis Memorial. Maj. Gen. Ahner served as state chairman of the Indiana Easter Seal Society for two years, and was also instrumental in establishing and supporting the USO in Indianapolis and sustaining that organization. Other civic affiliations were the National Guard Association of the United States, National Guard Association of Indiana (Past President), Indiana Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, Indiana Central University Alumni Association, Rainbow Division Veterans Association, American Legion, Military Order of World War, Reserve Officers Association, and the Third Christian Church. He served two successive terms as State Chairman of the Indiana Easter Seal Society for Crippled Children and Adults. He also served as President of the Indianapolis Veterans Day Council and one term of the State Chairman for State Employee contributions to United Campaign. He was a member of the Indianapolis Service Club, Indiana Historical Society, Honorary Director 500 Festival Association and served as the President of the Adjutants General Association of the United States for a two year period.
On May 17, 1981, Indiana Central University conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws on General Ahner. A lifelong American Legionnaire, Maj. Gen. Ahner served as the state chairman for state government contributions to the United Fund, state chairman for Veteran's Day Observance, and two terms as the president of the Veteran's Day Council, and two terms as the president of the Adjutant General's Association.
An avid outdoorsman, he spent much of his time with his sons, hunting and fishing in Indiana and at their cabin on Aerobus Lake in Ontario, Canada. He was also a talented woodcrafter, building a 21 foot Chris-Craft in the basement and garage of his home. Major General Ahner received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Indianapolis and was a Distinguished Alumni of the school.
Visitation will be Friday, September 24, 2010 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Shirley Brothers Fishers-Castleton Chapel, 9900 Allisionville Rd. with funeral services Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
Major General Ahner is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Betty Ahner; sons, Col. (Ret.) Mark Ahner and Michael Ahner; sister, Eula Pointer; six grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.
The family has asked that donations made in Maj. Gen. Ahner's name go to the University of Indianapolis at 317.897.9606 ************************************* From the Portico, The Alumni Magazine of the University of Indianapolis, Summber 2005.
Indiana National Guard ĎAhners' alumnus "Loyalty. Duty. Selfless Service. Integrity. Personal Courage. Ahner."
So reads the commemorative poster created for a special ceremony on February 26.
On that date, Major General (Retired) Alfred F. Ahner '47 HD'81, was recognized for his outstanding contribution to the soldiers and airmen of the Indiana National Guard by the naming and dedication of the Joint Force Headquarters auditorium, now known as the Major General Alfred F. Ahner Auditorium, at Stout Field in Indianapolis. Ahner is the longest-serving Adjutant General in the history of the Indiana National Guard.
General Ahner (pronounced "honor") was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant in the Indiana National Guard in 1948. During his service, he pursued his education at the University, and taught for six years in the Frankfort, Ind., school system before being appointed to the Guard full time in 1953. He served in World War II and was the first de-Nazification officer over the American zone of Vienna, Austria. For this service, he received commendations from the WWII allied commander in Africa and Italy.
He served in a variety of staff positions at the company, battalion, and state levels before his appointment as the Adjutant General from 1960 to 1961. He was reappointed to this position in 1972 by then-Governor Edgar D. Whitcomb and served until his retirement in 1986.
He has received numerous military awards and decorations during his esteemed career. He and his wife, Betty Jane, live in Indianapolis and have two children and six grandchildren. ********************************** The Indianapolis Star Friday, September 23, 2010, Section B2
Maj. Gen. Alfred Ahner, Indiana's longest-serving adjutant general, has died at his Indianapolis home of complications from diabetes. He was 88.
Gov. Mitch Daniels said Ahner, who died Tuesday, "was a leader, patriot and a humanitarian."
Then-Gov. Harold Handley appointed Ahner adjutant general for five months in 1960. He was reappointed by the-Gov. Edgar Whitcomb in 1972, serving 15 years under four governors until retiring in 1986.
Survivors include his wife, Betty, and two sons.
"Ahner laid the foundation for today's Indiana National Guard," said current Adjutant General Maj. Gen. R. Martin Unbarger.
Ahner's funeral will be Saturday at Shirley Brothers Castleton Funeral Home in Indianapolis, with calling today.
The funeral will feature an artillery salute of 13 blank volleys from howitzer cannons, plus 21 rifles, between 11 and 11:15 a.m.
There also will be a low-altitude flyover of three Blackhawk helicopter, in formation.
I had the great pleasure of knowing Alfred he was a great man and I am forever greatful that he got to meet his grandaughters and that i got to marry into such a great family he is missed. We love and miss you Grandpa, Great Grandpa. -
Amanda Ahner Added: Dec. 28, 2010