TERRE HAUTE —
Katherine Bledsoe Ahrens
August 27, 1926
–February 27, 2013
Katherine Bledsoe Ahrens was born in Terre Haute to Katherine Conlon Kunkler and Dr. William C. Kunkler. She graduated from Wiley High School in 1944 and received her undergraduate degree at Trinity College in Washington, D.C. She received a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1950 and married Walter A. Bledsoe, Jr. of Terre Haute in 1954. The couple reared four children: Karen, Kimberly, Alison, and Walter III.
Mrs. Ahrens was active in many Terre Haute community and charitable causes. She served for many years on the Board of Overseers of the Swope Art Museum and chaired the museum’s 21st Century Campaign. During the late 1990’s she served on a special advisory committee for Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Mrs. Ahrens’ other board positions included the Family Service Association; the League of Terre Haute; the Wabash Valley Community Foundation; Sycamore Manor and a HUD project for the elderly uninsured. In 1990, she founded the social services organization Volunteer Action Center, also in Terre Haute.
Mrs. Ahrens and her late husband, Walter, were active parishioners in St. Benedict’s Church. In addition to parish activities, their religious outreach included support of Sisters of Providence at St.-Mary-of-the-Woods, the Carmelite Nuns, Gibault School and St. Ann Clinic. Mrs. Ahrens also tutored non-English speaking students attending Indiana State University through the local library’s ESL program.
Mrs. Ahrens moved permanently to Vero Beach, Florida, after Walter passed away. In 2006, she married William Ahrens, of Vero Beach. The couple were very active in Holy Cross Parish and various Catholic charitable organizations in the area. In 2007, Mrs. Ahrens was invested as a Lady in the Knights of Malta, a Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
Mrs. Ahrens is survived by her husband Bill, her remaining children Kim, Alison, and Walter III, and seven grandchildren.
Mrs. Ahrens will be laid to rest during a private ceremony at Highland Lawn Cemetery in Terre Haute. A Celebration of Life will be held Tuesday, March 5, 2013 from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. at the Terre Haute Country Club. Local arrangements are under the direction of Callahan & Hughes Funeral Home, 605 South 25th Street. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Ann Clinic, 1436 Locust St., Terre Haute, IN 47807. Funeral information may also be found at: