Paul Ahrens, age 89 of Osakis passed away Monday, October 29, 2018 at the Community Memorial Home in Osakis, MN.
On April 24, 1929 a son was born to Henry and Gertrude (Proell) Ahrens at their farm in rural Todd County, MN. He was one of eleven children born to this union. They lived and worked on the family farm and after attending country school Paul went to work for the Great Northern Railroad. He was drafted into the Army during the Korean War and after his honorable discharge returned to resume his job with the railroad. He was married June 10, 1953 to his beautiful bride, Erma Voller in Ward Springs, MN. They made their home in Inver Grove Heights for many years and then moved after retiring to a home near Lake Osakis. Paul worked for GNR for 41 years, and also helped for over thirty years as a part time employee at the Majestic Ballroom, which was a job he loved as he and Erma were marvelous polka dancers. They were members of the Polka Lovers Klub of America (POLKA) and toured all over the Midwest, entertaining many nursing home and Senior Center audiences with other polka dance members.
Paul was a member of the Immaculate Conception Church and was an active member of the Knights of Columbus. He became a 4th Degree Knight and was proud to attend various Catholic functions in that capacity. He and Erma belonged to the Heartland Polka Swingers and the Country Couzins. They loved to attend area dances and had many friends throughout the whole Midwest. He volunteered his time at the Osakis VFW Post and also helped Erma sell her knitting projects at various crafting events. Paul loved the outdoors and could be found fishing, hunting or gardening when the weather permitted. Playing cards and visiting with neighbors kept him active and involved. He was very proud of his family and loved to spoil his grandkids. Whenever he was asked if there was anything more he wanted, Paul would say “just a kind word and a happy smile!” This is what type of man he was.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Erma Ahrens of Osakis; three children, Dennis (Laurie) Ahrens of Long Prairie, David Ahrens of Apple Valley and Barbara (Dennis) Behm of Cedar, MN; six grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; many nieces and nephews. Paul is preceded by his parents, his siblings, Mike, John, Herman, Lawrence and Anthony Ahrens, Elizabeth Pangburn, Catherine Engle, Mary Ecklund, Agnes Sebin and Bernadine VanHeel.
Funeral services were held Friday, November 2, 2018 at 10:00 am at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Osakis with Fr. Dave Petron officiating. Readers were Ruth Lyons and Carrie Behm. Gift bearers were Marianne Voller and Angela Behm. Eucharistic minister was Dennis Behm. Burial followed at the Calvary Cemetery in Osakis with honorary bearers by his grandchildren, Carrie, Scott & Angie Behm, Travis & Dana Ahrens, Stacie Toenyan; great grandchildren, Josh and Andrew Mattson, Adam, Emily and Maddy Behm, Colby Schnell and Trista Sandren; godchildren, Duane Ahrens, Ruth Lyons and the St. Michael’s Council of Knights of Columbus and the Assembly #546 members. Active bearers were Loren Pundsack, Kenny Voller, Ronnie Engle, Ron Lynner, Johnny Ahrens and Steve Biermaier.
Arrangements by the Roy-Hetland Funeral Home, Osakis, MN