William “Bill” J. Ahrenkiel

William J. Ahrenkiel, 94, of Athens, went to be at home with his Lord and Savior in the early morning of Sunday, July 5, 2020 at Regency Care.

William (Bill) was born January 24, 1926 to William Sr. and Marie Ahrenkiel in rural Sangamon county. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Ruth Austin and Evelyn Ehrengart.  He was also preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Mary Ahrenkiel in May of 2020.

A life-long resident of Athens, he graduated from Athens High School and was a starter on the 1944 Warrior basketball team. While in school, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy and reported for active duty immediately upon graduation in May 1944. 

He served on a destroyer escort along the Icelandic route and was involved in the battle of the North Atlantic.  The US navy convoyed US troops from the east coast of the US to the European theater, in preparation for the Normandy invasion. German submarines were attempting to stop this operation and the famous battle resulted.

After the war, Bill joined the Army reserve and was called to active duty at the start of the Korean war.  He served two years in the US army before returning to civilian life. 

During his work life, he was employed by the state of Illinois as a driver’s license examiner, park service, and IDOT. Bill was well-known in the Athens community for his skills at hunting and fishing, which were his major interests after retirement. He raised and trained hunting dogs and was acclaimed for his duck decoy, duck call, and fishing lure collections.

Bill was a great help to the Athens Municipal Library’s “Special Collections Room” where he shared pertinent historical information about Athens.

He is survived by one brother, Richard Ahrenkiel , of Lakewood, Colorado.  Also, he is survived by nephews Richard and Daniel Austin, John Ehrengart, Richard Ahrenkiel, Jr., S. Phillip Ahrenkiel, and by one niece Jane (Ahrenkiel) Hittle. He is also survived by a number of grand nephews and nieces.

Visitation for Bill will be held on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 from 10:00 until time of funeral services at 11:00 AM at the Athens Christian Church. Burial will be in Hall Cemetery.

Memorials can be made to the Athens Municipal Library.

Mott & Henning Funeral Home is assisting the family. On-line condolences can be shared at www.mottandhenning.com.

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