Kathleen F. (Sullivan) Ahern of West Roxbury and Naples FL formerly of Needham and Bridgton ME died peacefully at home on March 24, 2022. Kathleen grew up in Somerville, the daughter of Irish immigrants. She met the love of her life, the late Jack Ahern of West Roxbury while skiing in Killington VT. They married on St. Patrick’s Day March 17, 1977, and for 45 years of marriage, Jack never forgot their anniversary. Together they shared their love of skiing with their children who quickly became accomplished skiers, joining aunts, uncles, cousins and friends for fun family ski time in Maine. These treasured memories always brought a smile to her face. Kathleen was a good listener and loyal friend, maintaining strong lifelong friendships with people she met along the way.
Kathleen is survived by her son John “JJ” Ahern, a proud Boston firefighter and his wife Elizabeth of West Roxbury and stepdaughter Heather Ahern Huish and her husband David and dear grandchildren Zoe and Cedar Huish of Farmington ME.
Also survived by sisters-in-law Dorothy Pender and her husband Thomas of Falmouth, Kathleen Ahern-Wolseley and her husband Steven of Hatchville, Diane Sullivan (Jeremiah) of Winthrop, and brother-in-law Edmund Ahern Jr of Ft. Myers FL, Price Hutchins of Lovell ME, and Edward Siegfried and wife Katherine Lind of Belmont. In addition, she leaves nieces, nephews, and grands of the same, cousins and dear friends. Her nieces Regina Brooks and Erin Hall held a special place in her heart.
She was preceded in death by her devoted husband Jack, beloved daughter Alison, cherished sister Ann Hutchins, dear brothers Jeremiah and John Sullivan and sisters-in-law Margaret Siegfried and Marie Ahern.
An educator in NH and MA for 34 years, Kathleen served as Director of Guidance for the Dedham Schools prior to her retirement in 2004. She considered herself fortunate to enjoy a retirement filled with the simple things she loved best: theatre, music, movies, gardening, reading and sharing books with several book clubs, having lunch with “the girls” and traveling these beautiful United States by land, air or water with her devoted husband Jack. Together they visited many sites on their bucket list, finding beauty in what they saw and joy in togetherness they shared. They particularly enjoyed visiting Ireland and listening to the history and stories Kathleen’s relatives shared about her ancestral home in Ireland.
Renewing her 15+ years of Tai Chi study, Kathleen shared her enthusiasm for the practice with anyone willing to listen. Following her passion, she volunteered to teach older adults “tai chi for healthy aging” at senior centers in and around the Boston area. She was truly humbled by the wisdom and rich life experience of her students.
A Graveside service will be celebrated on Wednesday March 30th 10:00am at St. Mary’s Cemetery Needham.