Walter A. Ahrens

Walter A. Ahrens, 92, Lubbock, Texas, passed away Feb. 20, 2021, after a brief illness.

He and his twin brother, William, were born to parents William and Sadie Ahrens on Feb. 27, 1928, in Waterbury, Connecticut. Walt graduated from Leavenworth High School. He joined the U.S. Army soon after graduation. He graduated in the first class of the Armored Officer Candidate School in Fort Knox, Kentucky, in 1952. 

He married Pauline Desjardins in 1953, and they had five children together. His Army service took the family to Army posts in many places around the world. Walt served 25 years in the Army before retiring in 1970 as a lieutenant colonel after spending two tours serving in the Korea War. He was a decorated war veteran. 

After retiring from the Army, Walt became the American Red Cross director for Leavenworth County, Kansas. In 1979, he moved the family to Lubbock, Texas, to become the Red Cross director for Lubbock County. 

He married Tonya Shaw in 1987. After retiring from the Red Cross, they settled in the rolling hills of southern Missouri. They spent many years raising horses and dogs at their ranch in Missouri. Walt and Tonya enjoyed traveling to historical battlefields across the United States. One of Walt’s favorite places to travel was to the Little Bighorn National Battlefield in Montana to ride horses. They also spent many years actively involved in Basenji Rescue and Transport, rescuing and rehabilitating dogs. 

Walter was preceded in death by his twin brother, William, daughter, Alison Lee Fann, and his former wife, Pauline Ahrens. 

He is survived by his wife, Tonya Ahrens, Lubbock, Texas; his daughters, Kathleen Hargrove and husband, Mike, Lubbock, Texas, and Sonya Shaw, Lubbock, Texas; his sons, Bill Ahrens and wife, Annette, Roeland Park, Kansas, Mike Ahrens, Friendswood, Texas, Dan Ahrens and wife, Lana, Dallas, Texas, Chip Shaw and wife, Holly, Lubbock, Texas, Jon Shaw and wife, Tayika, Lubbock, Texas; 18 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. 

Posted online on March 04, 2021