James Ahearn

Obituary of James Francis Ahearn

James (Jim) Ahearn, 87, of Rhinebeck, NY died on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at the Baptist Home in Rhinebeck, NY. 


Born on December 26, 1931 in South Bend, IN, he was the son of the late Francis Thomas and Loretto (Lorden) Ahearn. Jim received his Bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in 1953. He married his devoted wife of 64 years, Mary Ann Boesch on June 7, 1954 in Hartford, CT.  Mary Ann survives him in Rhinebeck.


He was a Lieutenant JG in the United States Navy from 1954-1957 and served on destroyers in the North Atlantic, first as a combat-information-center officer and then as an operations officer.


Jim had a long and accomplished career in journalism. He began as a newsman working for United Press in Boston. Later he was recruited by the Bergen Record in New Jersey as a State House correspondent and over the years he rose to become the Editorial Page Editor and then Managing Editor. During his career there he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University in 1971 and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism. Once retired, he wrote a twice a week syndicated column on New Jersey public affairs.


In addition to his wife Mary Ann, he is survived by his children, Michael and his wife Sheryl Ahearn of Chadds Ford, PA; Molly Ahearn and her husband Bill Robinson of Clinton Corners, NY; Sarah Ahearn and her husband Rick Moltke of Pearl River, NY; and Margaret Ahearn Smith and her husband Michael Smith of Brooklyn, NY; a brother David Ahearn of Washington, DC; his two grandchildren, Sean Ahearn of New York, NY, and  Ryley Robinson of Rochester, NY; along with extended family, colleagues and friends. A sister, Judith MacKown, predeceased him.


Friends may call at the Burnett & White Funeral Home on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM. Memorial donations may be made in Jim’s memory to the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, Walter Lippmann House, One Francis Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138.


Arrangements are under the direction of Burnett & White Funeral Home 91 E. Market St., Rhinebeck, NY.


For directions, or to sign the online guest book, please visit www.Burnett-White.com.

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Visitation at Funeral Home

3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Burnett & White Funeral Homes
91 E. Market St.
Rhinebeck, New York, United States
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