Call now for immediate attention: 772-999-5547

Call now for immediate attention: 772-999-5547

Kent Joseph Ahern

November 01, 1953 ~ February 21, 2023

Kent Joseph Ahern, age 69, passed into heaven on February 21, 2023 at his home in Fort Pierce, Florida.  He was born in Riverside, California to Marilou Sullivan Ahern and George John Ahern on November 1, 1953.  He was a resident of Vero Beach and later Fort Pierce, Florida since 1992.  Kent grew up in West Springfield and later Holden, Massachusetts, and spent his early adult years in Natick, Massachusetts.  Kent was a graduate of Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, spending his Junior year living and studying at the University of Madrid in Spain.  He received his Masters degree from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont.


Kent was an accomplished and well-loved high school Spanish teacher for nearly 40 years.  He started his career at The Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts, and later taught for nearly 20 years at the St. Edward’s School in Vero Beach, Florida.  Señor Ahern, as he was known to many, was a champion of fun, hands-on and immersion learning for thousands of students over the years, regularly incorporating his love of Spanish art and cooking into his classroom.  He organized and led more than a dozen trips over the years for his students to Spain, Mexico, and various countries in South America.


In addition to his work as an educator, Kent dedicated his time to several community and volunteer organizations.  He was a tenor soloist at the Community Church of Vero Beach for more than 15 years.  Kent enjoyed volunteering as a translator and distributing food or clothing for several local charities serving families and veterans suffering from homelessness or food insecurity, especially during the COVID pandemic.  He was planning to travel again this year to Peru as a translator and volunteer supporting the medical mission with the Olive Tree Foundation for Education.


Beloved brother, son, uncle, pet owner, teacher, gardener, singer, foodie, volunteer, and world traveler; no one appreciated the beauty in every small thing more than Kent Ahern.  He had a unique gift for recognizing and sincerely appreciating so many things in his life — the kindness of a friend, a delicious meal, a peaceful sunrise, a beautiful flower, the sound of the ocean, a store clerk who spoke Spanish with him, an historical work of art — and of course time spent with his dedicated friend and canine soul-mate, Blanco.  Kent embodied the adage “who rescued who” since the day he adopted his dog, Blanco, from the Humane Society of Vero Beach in 2018, and the two were inseparable.


Kent was a kind heart, a gentle soul, and a caregiver, so frequently putting others’ needs before his own.  He was taken to heaven too early and will be dearly missed by many.  He is survived by brother Daniel and sister-in-law Beverly; sister Marybeth and brother-in-law Jeff Wootton; nephews Sean and Quinn, and niece Marielle Wootton; and dog Blanco.


Arrangements are being made by Millennium, and condolences may be shared online at


Marybeth Ahern Wootton

March 7, 2023, 10:40 pm

A funeral service will be held for family, friends and all who knew him at St. John of the Cross Church, 7550 26th St., Vero Beach, Florida on Saturday April 1, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. with a reception and celebration of life to immediately follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that tax deductible donations be made in Kent’s name to the Human Society of Vero Beach at

Barklie Eliot

March 10, 2023, 12:57 am

I worked with Kent for at least 15 years. He cared deeply for his students, loved travel, and sang beautifully. I am shocked and sad at his sudden death. He had more to give the world.

Grace Sullivan

March 11, 2023, 3:47 pm

….and a thoughtful and loving nephew! We will miss his visits to New England – Love, Laughs and Wine. Remember, Those we love don’t pass away, they walk beside us every day.

with understanding sympathy,
Aunt Grace & Uncle Dan


March 12, 2023, 4:56 pm

I met Kent in 2016. We became good friends. Our mutual love of art galleries, gardening and of course great food led to many great times. The last couple of years we didn’t see each other that much. Right before Christmas we agreed to get together because time seemed to disappear. We had a great time and sadly it was the last time. You will always be in my thoughts. Rest in Peace amigo.

Grace Sullivan

March 12, 2023, 7:14 pm

……… and a thoughtful and loving nephew! We will miss his trips to New England, Love, Laughs & Wine. Those we love don’t pass away, they walk beside us every day!!

Love and hugs,
Aunt Grace & Uncle Dan

Laura Olivos

March 13, 2023, 3:42 pm

Kent was a beloved part of our family since we met on St. Edwards’ campus when I was but 12 years old. He was my mom’s colleague, close friend, and our beloved “Tio.” You never left a visit with Kent without feeling lighter and happier. He embodied everything good in this world and he will be sorely missed by his Olivos clan. May you rest in power and peace, Tio Kent. We loved you then, now, and forever.

Diane Cooper

March 13, 2023, 6:03 pm

I am deeply saddened by the loss of this wonderful man. He was a truly professional teacher, a lovely person, and a soul with a thirst for social justice. He leaves the world a lesser place. May he rest in peace with God.

Rev. Deborah M. Spratley

March 13, 2023, 11:34 pm

I read this notice with deep sadness. I knew Kent when he was in Massachusetts many years ago. His gifted singing, sense of humor, and his passion for teaching remain with me. One of my favorite memories of Kent occurred during a choir weekend on Cape Cod. He had just purchased a new car and chose to park it under the powerlines that went into the house. Unfortunately those wires were where the local pigeons decided to roost for the night. We spent the morning washing his car while sharing bottles of wine. Not funny at the moment for him, but reasons to laugh in later years. My memories of him are rich and I”ve enjoyed postings of his travels and his pictures and expressed joy in his garden and his precious moments with Blanco. I trust his heartbeat assumed the heartbeat of God as his spirit soared into the wide reaches of the universe.

Jenifer Mina

March 14, 2023, 1:50 am

Will miss you, fellow choir member, joyous and brave man

John B. Jarzavek (Jack)

March 14, 2023, 2:40 pm

I taught at the Rivers School with Kent during his entire career at Rivers. He was always cheerful and kind. He enjoyed teaching his great love, Spanish, to his students. They in turn enjoyed his classes and his never-failing enthusiasm. When he left Rivers to go to Florida, Kent gave me his New England sweater saying, “I won’t need this in Florida.” For many years I smiled as I needed to put it on in the winter. He left us far too soon.

Bruce Wachter

March 29, 2023, 8:43 pm

Kent was a very good man and a captivating and excellent teacher of Spanish (and much more). I will never forget his “walk in” interview when he said I love The River School but cannot withstand another Massachusetts snowstorm. During his time he made Saint Edward’s better and as Language Department Chair elevated the entire program. Very well liked and respected by all who had the privilege of knowing, working with and most importantly, being taught by him, Kent will be greatly missed.

Elizabeth (Guth) Barger

March 29, 2023, 9:41 pm

I am so sorry to learn today of Sr. Ahern’s passing. He was an integral part of my education, further cementing my love for the Spanish language. One of my bachelor’s degrees is Spanish, actually, no doubt inspired by years of his Spanish classes. I was fortunate enough to go on one of his trips to Spain, and think fondly of all he showed us. I owe much to his mentorship and am grateful for all he taught me and his countless other students. Rest easy, Senor.

Sydney Gibbons

March 29, 2023, 10:12 pm

Amazing teacher, mentor, friend…he was one of a kind. Admittedly I hated him as my teacher. But that was purely for selfish reasons. He demanded the best out of all us and made sure we actually tried to learn and grow to be better people. I absolutely cherish the time we had in the classroom and the later times we had sharing life experiences and speaking as friends. He taught me so much about learning to love the nuance of language and culture. I hope that I can share a tenth of his passion for language and culture.

Mary Heskel

March 30, 2023, 2:57 pm

Senor Ahern brought so much energy and passion to teaching Spanish. He made classroom time rigorous and joyful, enhancing our language-learning with culture – music, food, dance, history, celebrations, field trips. His teaching made an impacts on hundreds of students.

Alex Florez

March 31, 2023, 5:17 pm

I have always treasured my memories of Mr. Ahern, who was my Spanish teacher in 9th and 11th grade. I credit him with affirming my curiosity about foreign languages, and I am confident that his expertise, patience, sense of humor, and encouragement set me up for success as a student. I currently teach Spanish, and, since I began, I have often cited things he taught me as I lead my own students. In no small way, I am full of gratitude for the legacy of learning he left with me and countless others.


April 1, 2023, 2:07 am

I was very fortunate to have Mr. Ahern as a teacher when I was at St. Edwards. I always appreciated his friendly personality, energy and great enthusiasm for teaching. I still remember if I arrived a little bit early to his class he would engage with me in lighthearted conservation encouraging me to speak in Spanish. Initially I was nervous to do so, but I believe he noticed my initial hesitance and with his gentle reassurance and warm encouragement he slowly instilled confidence in me. I remember I happened to cross paths with him about two years after I graduated and he exuberantly encouraged me to keep believing in my abilities and to keep learning Spanish. I am grateful to have had such great a teacher who believed in me and encouraged me the way he did. May he be at peace.

Robert Waxlax

April 1, 2023, 5:39 pm

Senor Ahern welcomed me to St. Edward’s at a time when I struggled to keep my head above water. When you’re overwhelmed, you need focus, strength, and determination – he helped me find all three. He was an amazing teacher and an even better mentor. The skills I learned from him are as relevant today as they were then. May we all help others like he helped us.

Tim Poydenis

April 2, 2023, 7:53 pm

Senor Ahern was an amazing man and made my time at St. Edward’s, and life, better. Not only did I enjoy his class, but Senior Ahern took countless hours out of his otherwise busy schedule to help make me (and others) a better student, Spanish speaker and person. He spent extra hours with me before I took a baseball trip to the DR to make sure I was “prepared” to converse in a foreign country, including countless hours during the time he was supposed to spend eating lunch or enjoying a free period. He will be deeply missed.

Daniel Ahern

April 3, 2023, 12:35 pm

A very sincere Thank You to all of Kent’s Florida friends who attended his funeral Mass and Celebration of Life reception on Saturday, 1 April. Your presence and wonderful, kind words and memories were so heartwarming. Thanks for sharing your time, thoughts, and prayers with us.

Warmest regards,
COL Dan Ahern, US Army (Ret)
Dr. Beverly Porter Ahern

Joe Whalen Rivers Class of 1989

January 16, 2024, 3:11 am

I am deeply saddened to have heard this news on Senor Ahern. During my time as a student at Rivers, he was an outstanding teacher, mentor, and upbeat presence on campus. He was deeply respected and his classes were a pleasure to attend. My sincerest condolences to his family.

Muchas gracias para todo mi amigo.

Kristen (Stoddard) McCarthy

April 10, 2024, 5:09 pm

I’m so sad to just be reading about Señor Ahern’s passing… he was a wonderful teacher who expected and fostered excellence and respect for a beautiful language. He really cared about us students and reading his obituary I see that spirit of compassion and drive to help others extended into all parts of his life. He will truly be missed!

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