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Donald J. Ahern

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Gately Funeral Home

79 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176
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Memories & Candles

“Hello, I just want to offer my condolences to Paula and the rest of the family. My parents are Neil and Sheila LeColst formerly of Melrose. My Dad...Read More »
1 of 6 | Posted by: Kathy Sutton - Melrose

“We are very sorry for your loss, and hope you are all doing well. ”
2 of 6 | Posted by: Rich Rossetti - Wilmington, MA

“Many happy memories in my youth of visits to Tappan Street. Don had a great sense of humor and was truly devoted to his family. He will be sorely...Read More »
3 of 6 | Posted by: Richard Ross - Essex Junction, VT

“To the family of Donnie Ahern My heartfelt condolences to you. Donnie was a wonderful co-worker and I enjoyed working with him for many years....Read More »
4 of 6 | Posted by: Janet Sinclair - Mattapan, MA

“Chris and family,Sorry to hear of the passing of your dad. I remember him to be a very caring and loving man. May God be with you all.Caroludy98 ”
5 of 6 | Posted by: Carol Cucurullo - Woburn, MA

“You are a great man with a heart of gold. I will miss you, my friend. May you walk in the promise land with our Lord. Godspeed! ”
6 of 6 | Posted by: Dan Hickey - Coworker


Donald Joseph Ahern passed away while on vacation in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada on November 11, 2018.

Donald was a devoted husband, father, and Papa, and had been looking forward to the birth of his first great-grandchild when he died peacefully on Sunday after enjoying a beautiful day in Niagara Falls with the love of his life, Paula. He was dedicated to Paula, to whom he had been married for over 55 years. They were a true love story. He enjoyed fishing, target shooting and gardening; and relished the opportunity to teach these skills to his children and grandchildren.

He loved visiting with and talking to family and friends over a good cup of coffee, road trips and his annual vacation to Florida with Paula, Dave, and Jane. He was a protector, a patriarch, and mentor to many.

For nearly ten years, he and his brother Jack co-owned and operated Aquatic Design in Melrose, a tropical fish and small pet store which was known primarily for a large fish, "Oscar," and a talking parrot, "Jerry," who were often visited by children on their way home from school. He was retired from the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department after a 20 year career as a corrections officer.

He was a devoted Catholic, dedicated to St. Jude and praying the Rosary daily. He loved New England Patriots football, photography, and Paula's cooking, especially her desserts. He loved a good laugh.

Nothing made Donald prouder than being a father and grandfather. He cherished being with his family above all else and will be missed and remembered by each one.

He was the beloved husband of over 55 years to Paula A. (Guthro) Ahern. Loving father of Dawn Marie Dionne & her husband John of Billerica, Michael Jude Ahern of NY and Christine Paula Glynn & her husband Sean of Billerica. He was the cherished grandfather of Michael J. Ahern Jr. of ME, Johnpaul, Rachael, Connor, Paige and Ava Glynn, Annabelle and Daniel Dionne, all of Billerica, Jennifer and Zachary Ahern of CA and James Ahern of NY. Caring brother of Fran & Paul Demenkow of North Reading, Jack & Evelyn Ahern of Byfield, Judy Sousa of Salem, NH, Joan & Rich Goodwin of Wakefield and Tom & Anne Ahern of Melrose. Son of the late John and Eleanor Ahern and son-in-law of the late Paul & Patricia Guthro. He is survived by many brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Visitation will be held at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 W. Foster St. Melrose on Sunday, November 18, 2018 from 2:00-6:00PM. Funeral procession from Gately Funeral Home on Monday morning 11/19/18 at 8:45AM, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary's Church, Herbert St. Melrose at 10:00AM. Relatives & friends are respectfully invited to attend. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in Donald's name to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Lane, Memphis, TN 38105 or @ www.stjude.org