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Harold T. "Harry" Ahern
April 01, 2021


WILBRAHAM - Harold T. "Harry" Ahern, age 92, of Wilbraham passed away on Thursday, April 1, 2021 at home. He was born in Springfield, son of the late Bridget (Donovan) from Skibbereen, Ireland and William Ahern of Fermoy, Ireland. He lived in Springfield for many years before building a home on Beaver Lake in Ware and living there for twenty years and another home in Belchertown and living there for twenty years, finally to Wilbraham for the past eleven years. He graduated from Springfield Trade High School and was employed at Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1949 for 43 years, retiring in 1992 as Director of Building Operations. During his career, he was involved in several major construction projects, some of which included the addition of the four wings that were added to the main building and the continual rehab and restructuring of the offices within the building complex. He was the onsite construction manager for the Monarch Building when Mass Mutual purchased that for additional office space which involved completely gutting and rehabbing the entire building. During these projects, he worked closely with the Hoyle, Doran and Berry Architectural Firm and Turner Construction Company, both of Boston. Harry has done volunteer work in photography for the Easter Seal Society, served as advisor to the Hampden County Junior Achievement, the Building Committee for St. Francis of Assisi Church in Belchertown, the Board of Directors for the Springfield Hobby Club, the Board of Directors for Independent Housing I & II, Inc. for 45 years, serving as President for several of those years. He and his wife are Corporators of the Springfield Museums, formerly the City Library and Museums. He had served on the Plant Committee for 29 years during which time the Rotunda of the City Library went through a complete restoration and was completely rehabbed for handicap accessibility. In addition, the Seuss Sculpture Garden was created, the Blake House was moved, the new History Museum was created as well as the Seuss Museum. He goes back in museum history further when he was friends of John and Frank Korkosz, brothers who built the Korkosz Projector for the Seymour Planetarium which they use to project the night sky. The love of his life, second to his family, was his hobby of photography. He started out taking pictures with an old box camera when he was 14. He was made an Honorary Member of the Springfield Photographic Society where he was a member for 68 years. During this time, he served as President and Chairman of the International Salon, a competition with participants from all over the world. He was a member of the Massachusetts Camera Naturalists (MassCamnats), an invitation only Nature group of which he served a term as Chairman, the Quabbin Photo Group, a 62-year member of the Photographic Society of America (PSA), which has members from over 60 countries, during which time he was awarded his Fellowship (FPSA) and he served as Northeast Zone Director, Chairman of the Honors Committee and was on the committee for the Hartford Convention. He was a 65-year member of the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) and was awarded his Honorary NEC. He served as Beauty Pageant Chairman, Treasurer, President and Chairman of the Board. The Council dedicated it’s 45th conference to him in 1990. His photography evolved out of a love of travel and the outdoors. His focus since retirement has been on nature and wildlife which took him on safaris in Africa, three times living on the Hudson Bay for a week with the polar bears, Alaska for the brown bears and eagles, Florida several times for the birds and 16 trips to Yellowstone and Teton National Parks for the animals. Over the years, his love of photography has introduced him to many interesting people, some with whom he has established lifetime friendships. He has been privileged to photograph many famous people such as General Douglas MacArthur, President Eisenhower, President Kennedy’s family on a ski trip in Vermont, Ted Kennedy on one of his campaigns and Emmett Kelly, Jr., the famous clown. He has exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally receiving numerous honors and awards. Harry leaves behind his beloved wife and soulmate, Linda (Koldys) Ahern. They were married on October 9, 1970 and were blessed with over 56 years of happiness together. He also leaves his sister, Teresa Ahern Brown of Dedham, MA, his brother-in-law, Donald LaVoice of Bradenton, FL, and several nieces and nephews who were the sparkles in his life. Sadly, he was predeceased by his son, Mark Robert Ahern in 2012, and his brothers, John, James, Robert and William, and sisters, Mary Orwat and Elizabeth LaVoice. His family would like to thank Barbara Dise (“his girl Barbara”) for her care and friendship over the past two years. She put the sunshine in our lives. His life will be celebrated with a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel, 254 State Street, Springfield, MA 01103. His Burial will be private following the Mass. Please note that masks are required, social distancing must be observed and Church attendance is limited due to state regulations. There are no visiting hours. His Funeral Services are entrusted to the St. Pierre-Phaneuf Springfield Chapels, (413-737-1177), 7 Chapin Terrace, Springfield, MA 01107. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) Memorial Fund, 15 Addison Road, Wilbraham, MA 01095 or a charity of the donor's choice. For more details and to leave his family condolence messages, please visit:

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St. Pierre-Phaneuf Springfield Chapels
7 Chapin Terrace
Springfield, MA 01107