Donald Ahlers, 92, passed away Saturday, February 28, 2015 at Riverview Healthcare Community, Flandreau. Don was born December 2, 1922 on the family farm in Dell Rapids, SD to Joseph and Pauline (Bricher) Ahlers. He attended Johanson Country School and then Dell Rapids St. Mary’s. He farmed with his father and then his brother-in-law for several years after leaving school in 1936. On March 31, 1945 he entered the US Navy and served on the USS Besboro merchant ship during WWII and was stationed in the waters around the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Don was honorably discharged on June 8, 1946. After his naval service he continued farming with his father and during the winter months, he and several friends traveled around the Western U.S. doing various jobs and seeing the country. It was on one of these trips to Portland, OR that he met his future wife, Elaine Seitz, the love of his life. They were married on October 1, 1949 in Vancouver, WA. Don and Elaine moved to a farm one mile north of Flandreau where they remained until last year when they moved into town. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in October 2014. He was a member of Ss. Simon and Jude Catholic Church, National Farmers Organization and the American Legion.
Don is survived by his wife Elaine, six children, Jean (James) Foster, of Mountain Home, TX; Sharon Nelson, of Rapid City, SD; Richard (Mary), of Marshall, MN; Carol (Stuart) Kitayama, of LaSelva Beach, CA; Darrell (Edith) of Conifer, CO; Susan Ahlers, of Burnsville, MN; 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Don was preceded in death by his parents, and two brothers, Sylvester and Jerome.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 am Friday, March 6, 2015 at Ss. Simon and Jude Catholic Church with burial in the church cemetery. Visitation will be 4:00 – 7:00 pm Thursday with a 7:00 pm prayer service followed by a rosary at Skroch Funeral Chapel. Condolences may be left at www.skrochfc.com