Louis R. Ahlers, 97, of Gering, Nebraska, passed away Thursday, September 21, 2023, at Heritage Estates in Gering. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, October 9, 2023, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Scottsbluff, Nebraska with Pastor Jeffery Grams officiating. The Nebraska Army National Guard and the Gering American Legion Post 36 Funeral Honor Guard will provide military honors. Viewing will be held one hour prior to service time at the church. Cremation will follow the service. Memorials may be made in care of the family and will be designated at a later date. The service will be live-streamed and recorded to Louis’ obituary page viewable at www.reverencefuneralparlor.com.
Louis was born May 14, 1926, in Elgin, Nebraska to Carl Rudolph and Elizabeth “Elsie” Elsa (Loeske) Ahlers. He was baptized and confirmed in Clearwater, Nebraska where he attended school until eighth grade. He then began working on farms full time.
He volunteered to serve his country in 1944, enlisting to the Army as a weapons specialist in the Asian theatre during World War II. He shipped off for basic training to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and afterward was attached to the 41st Infantry Division. This division was concurrently anchored just off the shores of the Philippines in the Sulu and Celebes Seas. Lou served on the front lines of multiple island attacks during the 1945 Philippines Liberation and once liberation was achieved, his unit sailed north in preparation for the invasion of mainland Japan. His unit patrolled the Hiroshima bomb site after America dropped the atomic bombs. He also manned the border between the Japanese and American-controlled areas to process the surrender of Japanese soldiers. Lou was placed on emergency leave because of his father’s illness, and was shipped home, never to return to Asia. He suffered greatly from his time in service, spending months after arriving home in the hospital for Malaria and long-term radiation poisoning, which would plague him his entire life. He was awarded multiple medals for his service, including the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal x 3, and the Philippine Liberation Medal x 2.
Lou married Marilyn Martinsen in 1949 and the couple welcomed six children. The marriage ended after 27 years. Love would discover Lou again when he met Joanne Green and they wed in 1979. Together they adopted a daughter, Jennifer.
Lou kept busy with various ranching jobs until he found his niche in the baking industry. He worked in several bakeries before he and Joanne owned and operated the Rolling Pin Bakery in Sidney, Nebraska. His family later took over Gering Bakery where Lou continued his involvement in the bakery business until his retirement.
Some of Lou’s hobbies included hunting, fishing, boating, and camping. He and Joanne also spent many weekends out dancing together. He was an avid Nebraska Huskers football fan. One of the most admirable traits about Lou, was the wonderful family man he was to his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. His family was the most valued part of all his lifetime.
Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Joanne Ahlers; children, Ron (Edee) Ahlers, Linda (Ed) Petersen, Dave (Roxanne) Ahlers, Nancy (Paul) Nelson, Jeff (Kelly) Ahlers, and Jennifer (Craig) Lorenz; son-in-law, Ralph Schank; 27 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; sisters, Clara Ritter, Irene Weinkauf, and Rose Meyer; brothers-in-law, Bob (Alma) Green and Ron Lockman; along with other extended relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Elizabeth Ahlers; in-laws, Florence and Albert Green; brother, Robert Ahlers; sister, Arlene Uecker; daughter, Debbie Schank; daughter-in-law, Sherry Ahlers; infant granddaughters, Elizabeth and Katherine Ahlers; and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Dolores Lockman and Jim (Roberta) Green.