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 Frederick Martin “Fritz” Ahrens

Frederick Martin “Fritz” Ahrens

Salamanca, Cattaraugus County, New York, USA
Death 23 Feb 2011 (aged 84)
Sun City, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered, Specifically: Salamanca, Cattaraugus, New York
Memorial ID 75742863 · View Source
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January 24, 1927, Adolph Steffan Jacob and Pauline Augusta (Jonas) Ahrens became proud parents of Frederick "Fritz" Martin Ahrens at their home at 151 Parkway Dr. in Salamanca, Cattaraugus, New York. Fritz was the fourth child of seven children.

At age 12, he started peddling papers, first on Sundays and later he bought a paper route. With he money earned, he purchased a bicycle to deliver the papers which he continued doing until age 16.

He was hired as a laborer on the railroad in April 1943, when he was a junior in high school. He got out of school early so he could go to work from 3 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.-six nights a week, with Tuesdays off. His duties included janitor, freight house laborer, car cleaner, snow shoveler, put mail and baggage on and off passenger trains, etc. The most memorable was cleaning spittoons. Most of the men working at the depot chewed tobacco. During this time, he met John Raiber, who worked swing shift for Railway Express at the Erie depot.

He joined the U.S. Navy at age 17. He graduated from high school in Salamanca prior to being called to active duty. After boot camp, he went to radio and radar school. He was assigned to a destroyer and then an aircraft carrier. The war was over when he went to sea. He stayed in until the end of 1946. He became an Electronics Technician's Mate 2nd Class. He returned to his job on the railroad when he was discharged.

That fall, he started school at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He completed the electrical course in 3 years. At that time, he returned to the railroad and started an apprenticeship to be an electrician in the roundhouse. New diesel electric locomotives were shortly received to be maintained in Salamanca.

He bought his first car, a 1950 Ford 6 and then got his first driver's license at 23 years of age.

In November 1951, he took Elaine Audrey Raiber (John Allen Raiber's daughter) out on a date. They were married June 6, 1952, and bought their first home from Elaine's mother, Alice Eliza (Fay) Raiber, Brown. To this union were born four sons.

He finished the apprenticeship early and became an electrician. The railroad closed the roundhouse in Salamanca after the Erie RR merged with the Lackawanna RR in 1963. They moved to Hornell and rented their home in Salamanca.

After putting in for a 4 week vacation for 1964, he realized he had lost his choice of times due to the move. It became apparent that he wouldn't get summer vacations with the boys for the next 15 years, so he made plans to look for another job.

He was hired at a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant between Salamanca and Buffalo in November 1964. He worked there for 1 ½ years until he got tired of trying to work all suited up in protective clothing.

He went to work in Akron, NY, for a company that was making fuel rods for nuclear reactors. After one year, he was promoted to maintenance foreman. This company was bought by Amax during this time and shut the plant down in 1975. He took a job an Amax property in Climax, Colorado. He was promoted four times and worked at the Henderson and Climax Mines living in Leadville, Buena Vista, Kremmling, and Hot Sulphur Springs. March 1, 1984, he retired and moved to Peoria, Arizona, with his wife Elaine. They enjoyed traveling, card playing, golfing, caring for Elaine's Aunt Wilma, always doing for others and connecting his family with weekly phone calls. He cared for Elaine during a long illness ending July 15, 1997.

He married Barbara November 6, 1998, in Peoria, Arizona. He received her 5 children and their spouses and children as his own. They bought a home in Sun City where they have enjoyed the last years of his life. He suffered a heart attack in April 2010. In April 2011, he was diagnosed with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Because his heart was only functioning at 25-30%, they were unable to give him the treatment of choice. After an amazing fight through the chemo, he was told in October that the cancer was gone. However, the remission was short lived and by Christmas it had returned and took a tough toll on his body. Though he fought courageously, always thinking of wanting to do the best for others; he lost the final battle February 23, 2011. He was living at a group home where he was given gracious care in coordination with the hospice services.

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  • Created by: Eva Pippin Flowers
  • Added: 31 Aug 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 75742863
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Frederick Martin “Fritz” Ahrens (24 Jan 1927–23 Feb 2011), Find A Grave Memorial no. 75742863, ; Maintained by Eva Pippin Flowers (contributor 47244686) Cremated, Ashes scattered, who reports a Salamanca, Cattaraugus, New York.