Herman J. Ahlers, 91, of Remsen, died Friday, March 10, 2006, at Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars.
Herman J. Ahlers was born Jan. 6, 1915, in Granville, the oldest son of of Herman and Josephine (Koch) Ahlers. Herman was raised in the Granville area and attended St. Mary's Academy in Alton where he boarded and was educated by the nuns.
Herman joined the U.S. Army in 1942. He was a member of Company D 358th infantry of the 90th Division under General George Patton. Herman served his country in the invasion of Normandy. He received a Purple Heart after being injured by shrapnel near Le Vix Chateau France on June 27, 1944. After recovering from his injuries back in England, Herman returned to the front lines and went on to fight in the battle of Ardennes the Battle of the Bulge. Herman also served as a guard for General Patton during and after the war.
When Herman returned from Europe he worked for his brother Clarence Ahlers. In 1947 Herman and his brother Vincent started farming north of Remsen.
After a fatal accident took the life of their friend Joe Plathe, Herman and Vincent played a major role in raising Joe's children, Linda, Jean and Dave Plathe. Herman and Vincent also played a significant role in raising Jean's two daughters, Jennifer and Lori Pottebaum, who lived with them from 1973-1977. Herman and Vincent considered the children their family.
Herman retired from farming in 1982 and moved to their current acreage in 1986 where he continued to reside with his brother Vincent, who had taken care of Herman over the last few years of failing health.
Herman enjoyed fishing and hunting in his younger years. He was a good bowler and especially enjoyed playing cards and sharing stories with his family and friends.
He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Post 3328 V.F.W. and Post 220 American Legion, all of Remsen.
Survivors include seven brothers, his best friend and brother Vincent, Clarence and his wife, Norma, both of Remsen, Arnold, Bernard, Urban, Raymond and Edward, all of Granville; two sisters, Mrs. Reynold (Rita) Theisen of Canby, Minn., and Clara of Granville; His extended family, Jean of Sioux City, and her two daughters, Jennifer and Lori Pottebaum of Minneapolis, Minn., Mrs. George (Linda) Ellis and family of Fargo, N.D., David and his wife, Mary Plathe and family of Remsen, and close friend Mary Ann Hansen of Le Mars; 11 nephews and eight nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Helen as a young child; two half sisters, Mrs. Mike (Catherine) Steffes and Mrs. Henry (Agatha) Steffes.
Funeral services werre at 10:30 a.m. today (Monday), at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Remsen, with the Rev. Timothy Johnson officiating. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery at Granville, with graveside military honors conducted by Post 3328 V.F.W. of Remsen. Visitation was after 2 p.m. Sunday, at the Fisch Funeral Home in Remsen, with a parish rosary at 3 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7:30 p.m.
Casket Bearers were Dave Ahlers, Dan Ahlers, Phil Ahlers, Gary Theisen, Jim Theisen and Kenneth Theisen.
Honorary bearers were Fred Ahlers, Mary Ann Hartig, David Plathe Jr., Michael Plathe, Rick Plathe, Jennifer Pottebaum, Lori Pottebaum and Sara Sangimino.