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Allyn ‘Bud’ Ahlers, 93, of Hutchinson

Allyn “Bud” Ahlers, 93, of Hutchinson, formerly of Stewart, died Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, at Harmony River Living Center in Hutchinson.
Memorial services were held Saturday, Nov. 29, at the Dobratz-Hantge Funeral Chapel in Hutchinson with the Rev. Deb Walkes officiating. Kay Hayden was the organist. Soloist Bonnie Baumetz sang “The Lord’s Prayer.” Congregational hymns were “Amazing Grace” and “America the Beautiful.” Military honors were provided by the Hutchinson Memorial Rifle Squad.
Allyn “Bud” Robert Ahlers was born Sept. 21, 1921, in Stewart, the son of Allyn and Esther (Macheledt) Ahlers. He was baptized as an infant and confirmed in his faith as a youth. He was educated in Stewart, and graduated with the Stewart High School class of 1940.
Mr. Ahlers entered active military service in the U.S. Army on Feb. 10, 1946, and served his country during World War II. He was honorably discharged on Feb. 9, 1949. At the beginning of his military service, while stationed in San Antonio, Texas, with the Normoyle Ordinance Company, Mr. Ahlers played trombone in the Army Band. He also played the baritone and trumpet. Mr. Ahlers played “Taps” many times during his service and, when he returned to civilian life, he played “Taps” for the Stewart American Legion Post for many years.
When the war intensified, the Army Band was dissolved and Mr. Ahlers was sent to the Philippines and Japan, where he served his country in bomb disposal. However, the band members from Normoyle remained lifelong friends and for many years met in cities all over the United States for reunions.
On Feb. 17, 1945, Mr. Ahlers was united in marriage to Ruth Henderson at Nixon, N.J. This marriage was blessed with four children, Sharon, John, Bruce and Ronald. Bud and Ruth Ahlers lived in Stewart and shared 37 years of marriage before Mrs. Ahlers’ death on Aug. 27, 1982.
Mr. Ahlers owned and operated the IGA Grocery Store in Stewart, starting in 1958. the store had been in the family for 88 years. Mr. Ahlers had been cutting and wrapping fresh meats over the counter since 1946.
He was a member of Zion United Methodist Church in Buffalo Lake. He also was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Stewart American Legion Post 125 and the Stewart Improvement Association.
While running the family business, Mr. Ahlers enjoyed taking care of his registered quarterhorses. He loved those horses! Though the horses were a lot of work, they gave him a lot of pleasure.
When he retired, Mr. Ahlers finally had time for international travel. He visited England, Scotland, Wales, France and Germany. His retirement and enjoyment of travel was enhanced when he was joined in his travels — and his life — by his BFF (best friend forever) Mae Wick. Not only did they travel to Mr. Ahlers’ Army reunions all over the U.S., but they made frequent trips to visit their combined family members from New York to Arizona. Their road trips had them traveling through most of the United States. The frequency of their trips and the distances they traveled both increased in numbers when Mae came to realize that it was safe to fly. In fact, “Aloha” was a word that became part of their vocabulary.
Mr. Ahlers always enjoyed spending time with friends and family. Having Mae and the entire Wick family in his life made his life joyful! There was no shortage of love and fun in Mr. Ahlers’ life. He had a great sense of humor, which he shared with everyone. Bud loved people. People loved Bud. His life was good!
He is survived by his children, Sharon Jean Demello and her husband, Frank, of New Port Richey, Fla., John Allyn Ahlers of New York City, and Ronald Edward Ahlers and his wife, Sharie, of Fridley; grandchildren, John Demello of Edina, Jean Brede of Carver, Jennifer Demello of Coon Rapids, Christine Nelson of Waconia, Robert Hedman of St. Croix Falls, Wis., and Erica Langer of Mounds View; sisters, Dorothy Jean Anderson of Burnsville and Joyce Eileen Henkel of Duluth; special companion, Mae P. Wick of Stewart and her children, Judy and Pat Maiers of Willmar, Kristine Cipra of Brandon, Mary Jane Skurat and her husband, Jon, of Villard, and Tom and Wendy Wick of Stewart; nine great-grandchildren; many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Allyn and Esther Ahlers; wife, Ruth Ahlers; and son, Bruce Ahlers.
Arrangements were with the Dobratz-Hantge Chapel in Hutchinson. Online obituaries and guest book are available at www.hantge.com.