Remembering Kevin Ahern


AhernKevin2Kevin Edward Ahern

Mar 5, 1948 – Aug 7, 2016

In San Francisco, Sunday August 7, Kevin Edward Ahern, 68, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. A native of San Francisco, the third of four children of Edward and Alda Ahern, of San Francisco and Sacramento, respectively. Always fond of the great outdoors, his best memories of childhood were of camping with his father and uncle, Francis, all throughout California, an activity Kevin pursued for the rest of his life, joining the Sierra Club and participating in frequent trail maintenance trips. He graduated from Lowell High School in 1966, and began his study of Paleontology at San Francisco State College before transferring to University of California – Berkeley, from which he graduated with honors as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society in 1972. He followed his passion for prehistoric mollusks further, continuing his studies at UC Berkeley with both a Master’s degree (1974) and a Ph.D. (1978) in Paleontology. In 1973, Kevin met another San Franciscan who commuted to Berkeley and was also active in Sierra Club trail maintenance expeditions, Alice Dobrowolski. They married in 1979 at Notre Dame des Victoires on Bush Street and moved in together in the Upper Haight. Kevin turned his intellect towards the Southern Pacific Railroad, working in that organization’s Applications Development department from 1979 to 1993, quantifying data to develop forestry harvest plans. He continued on to a number of small organizations doing similar timber harvest analysis until 1998, where Kevin began his work as a statistical programmer at UC San Francisco’s Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute. Ever the curious mind, Kevin devoted much of his time outside of work to researching his family history, and was active in helping others do the same. His generosity with his time and his deep family ties also compelled him to provide daily care to his parents before their passing. Since his retirement from UCSF in 2015, he pursued numerous independent research projects – delving into the history of San Francisco, interpreting the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, studying geological surveys, and continuing his life-long research of fossilized invertebrates. Before he passed, Kevin had planned yet another trip into the Sierra Nevada. Preceded in death by his parents, he is survived by his wife of 37 years, Alice, their children Brendan and Brian, and his siblings Kathleen Christiansen, Michael, and Dennis

Services to be held at St. Brendan Church in San Francisco on Monday, August 22 at 11:00 AM. Internment private.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 21, 2016