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Memorial set for Friday for longtime La Jollan Jim Ahern

A celebration of the life of longtime La Jolla residnet Jim Ahern, who died suddenly on Oct. 15 at age 84, will be held at 4 p.m. Friday at 335 Sixth Ave. in Downtown San Diego.

Born March 21, 1925 in Avalon on Catalina Island, Ahern grew up there before moving to Chicago.

After a few years he returned to Long Beach, and then enlisted in the U.S. Army, where “he and Patton” fought throughout Europe during W.W.II. Surviving the Battle of the Bulge, Ahern was awarded a Purple Heart on more than one occasion. He frequently visited his plaque high atop La Jolla’s Mount Soledad, commemorating his adventures in serving his country.

After the war, he returned to Avalon where he met his wife of 58 years, Marjorie Fricke. Together they raised Fritz, Patrick, Louise (Buckley), Jimmy, Kate (Rigby) and Josephine (Rowe), who went on to produce 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

He started his professional career with the Carrier Co. and was instrumental in building a new office in San Diego for the company. When asked to return to Los Angeles, Ahern realized that San Diego was best for his family. Leaving Carrier in 1960, he quickly built himself a new career in real estate. Because of his success, he built his family a home in La Jolla where he spent the remaining 49 years of his life. He loved tennis, fishing and playing an active part in the community.

While in commercial real estate, he served as president of the San Diego Board of Realtors, president of the Gaslamp Quarter Association and was selected by the mayor to serve on the Historical Site Resources Board. Another of his career highlights was pioneering the Voluntary Integration Program in San Diego.

A memorial service will take place at the Avalon Cemetery, Catalina Island at noon on Oct. 26. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to NAMI – National Alliance for Mental Illness-San Diego or the Catalina Island Museum.