Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

Martin R. Ahearn
1918—2009

Martin R. Ahearn
ROCKPORT—Martin R. Ahearn, 91, formerly of Marmion Way, Rockport, husband of Bridget Whoriskey of Salt Hill, Galway, Ireland, died on Sunday night, Sept. 27, 2009, surrounded by family at the Seacoast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Gloucester. He was born in Somerville on March 1, 1918, son of the late Martin T. and Bridget (Bransfield) Ahearn. Formerly of Arlington, Mr. Ahearn had resided in Rockport for the past 49 years.

He was a well known Cape Ann artist for most of his life specializing in watercolor landscapes of Ireland. Mr. Ahearn won numerous awards for his paintings and is exhibited in the permanent collection of the DeCordova Museum, Springfield Museum and the Salmagundi Club. He also taught watercolor workshops in Rockport, Alaska, Hawaii and Ireland for many years. In addition to his watercolor paintings, he enjoyed a long career as an advertising artist for General Electric, The Boston Globe and Corey Snow. Mr. Ahearn was a member and past president of the New England Watercolor Society, a member and past president of the Rockport Art Association, a member of the American Watercolor Society, the Salmagundi Club, the North Shore Art Association and the DeCordova Museum.

Martin exhibited a wonderful sense of humor and was a great storyteller. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He was predeceased by his wife of 52 years, Mary M. (McFadden) Ahearn; a brother, John Ahearn and a sister, Catherine O'Connor.

Mr. Ahearn is survived by his wife, Bridget Whoriskey of Salt Hill, Galway, Ireland; a sister, Mary Keating of Arlington; a son, Lawrence M. Ahearn and his wife Mary Ann of King of Prussia, Pa.; two daughters, Margaret M. "Peggy" Chick and her husband Peter J. of Rockport, Patricia A. Terelak and her husband John C. of Rockport; seven grandchildren, Timothy O'Brien and his wife Natalia of Beverly, Kaetlyn O'Brien of Rockport, Jamieson Terelak and his wife Mary of Gloucester, Ronald Terelak of Rockport, Stephanie Mary Benenson and her husband Clement of New York City, John Martin Terelak of Boston, Megan Ahearn of Cambridge; five great-grandchildren, Michael O'Brien, Natasha O'Brien, Kaetlyn O'Brien, all of Beverly, Catherine Terelak, Charles Terelak, both of Gloucester; several nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews; step children, Mary Nee and her husband John of Ireland, Helen Keane and her husband Declan of Ireland, Margaret Harkins and her husband Colin of Scotland, Brigid Watt and her husband Donald of Scotland, Neil Whoriskey and his wife Liz of Ireland, Patrick Whoriskey of Ireland; and many step grandchildren.

ARRANGEMENTS: His funeral will be held from the Burgess & Mackey Funeral Home, 201 Main St., Rockport, on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 9:15 a.m. followed by the funeral Mass in St. Joachim's Church, Broadway, Rockport, at 10. Visiting hours in the Burgess & Mackey Funeral Home will be on Wednesday 4 to 7 p.m. Relatives and friends are cordially invited. The burial will be in Beech Grove Cemetery, Rockport. In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions may be made in his memory to the V.N.A. Care Network, 8 Angle St., Gloucester, MA 01930, or to the Senior Care, 5 Blackburn Park, Gloucester, MA 01930.

Gloucester Daily Times 29 September 2009

Martin R. Ahearn
AHEARN, Martin R. 91, formerly of Rockport, MA, Sept. 27, 2009. Husband of Bridget Whoriskey of Ireland, father of Lawrence M. (Mary Ann) Ahearn of King of Prussia, PA, Margaret M. "Peggy" Chick (Peter J.), Patricia A. Terelak (John C.), all of Rockport, MA, brother of Mary Keating of Arlington, grandfather of Timothy O'Brien (Natalia) of Beverly, Kaetlyn O'Brien of Rockport, Jamieson Terelak (Mary) of Gloucester, Ronald Terelak of Rockport, Stephanie Mary Benenson (Clement) of NYC, John Martin Terelak of Boston, Megan Ahearn of Cambridge. Also survived by 5 great grandchildren, stepchildren Mary Nee (John), Helen Keane (Declan), Neil Whoriskey (Liz), Patrick Whoriskey, all of Ireland, Margaret Harkins (Colin), Brigid Watt (Donald), all of Scotland.

Pre-deceased by wife, Mary M. (McFadden) Ahearn, brother John Ahearn and sister Catherine O'Connor. Funeral from the Burgess & Mackey Funeral Home, 201 Main St., ROCKPORT, MA on Thursday at 9:15 followed by a funeral mass in St. Joachim's Church, Broadway, Rockport, MA at 10. Visiting hours on Wednesday 4-7 pm. Relative and friends are cordially invited. Burial in Beech Grove Cemetery, Rockport. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions may be made to V.N.A. Care Network, 8 Angle St., Gloucester, MA 01930 or to Senior Care, 5 Blackburn Park, Gloucester, MA 01930.

The Boston Globe 29 September 2009


Martin Ahearn's landscapes hang in galleries and offices
across the eastern United States.

By J.M. Lawrence
Cape Ann artist Martin R. Ahearn, whose watercolors captured the drama of Rockport seascapes and scenes of Ireland, often wore a tam o'shanter as he painted. He taught scores of artists the joys of painting watercolors en plein air and led painting tours in his father's native Ireland. "Martin was born an American, but he had the soul of an Irishman,'' said fellow Rockport artist John Terelak, who was Mr. Ahearn's son-in-law.

Mr. Ahearn, who had previously made his living as a commercial artist in Boston, died of pneumonia Sunday at Seacoast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Gloucester. He was 91 and had lived in Rockport for almost 50 years. Born in Somerville, Mr. Ahearn grew up in Arlington and studied commercial art at the Vesper George School of Art in Boston. "His mother wanted him to be a priest,'' said his daughter, Margret "Peggy'' Chick, who owns the Artful Touch Gallery in Rockport, where Mr. Ahearn's paintings are sold. Mr. Ahearn, who contracted polio as a child, had a kind demeanor and always dispensed compliments along with criticism to his students, Chick said. "It could have looked like a kindergartner did it, but he would say how the tones are beautiful, and then he got down to the nitty-gritty,'' Chick said.

Mr. Ahearn spent his early career working in the art department of Corey Snow, a Boston advertising agency. He also worked for The Boston Globe and General Electric. He met his first wife, Mary (McFadden), when he was a teenager in Arlington. He told his children he saw Mary walking down the street in their neighborhood, wearing a royal blue coat with a fox fur collar, and said, "That's the girl I'm going to marry.'' They were married almost 52 years and had three children. She died in 1995.

Mr. Ahearn's commercial art career included drawing men's clothing for a catalog, before photography displaced the work. He had his son, Lawrence, model the clothes, so that he could accurately capture the wrinkles and shadows in the fabric. "I would model winter coats in the summer and summer clothes in the winter,'' said Lawrence, who lives in King of Prussia, Pa.

Mr. Ahearn moved his family to Rockport in 1960 and began focusing on fine art. He studied under such Cape Ann artists as Carl Peters and Emille Gruppe, and his children recalled their parents discussing how to make the $90 monthly mortgage on their home in those days. The beauty of the area could stop him in his tracks. "He would always stop the car immediately when he saw a scene worth painting, regardless of who was behind us or where and when we had to be some place,'' Lawrence said, recalling many late arrivals. Seattle artist David Repyak, who grew up in Gloucester, recalled studying with Mr. Ahearn as a teenager in the 1980s. "He was quite an inspiring man and a very calm soul,'' Repyak said. "He really taught me how to see light when painting outside.''

After the death of his first wife, Mr. Ahearn traveled to Ireland to paint and soothe his grief. In 1999, at the age of 81, he married Bridget Whoriskey of Galway, the widow of his wife's first cousin. His paintings have won numerous prizes and are included in the collections of the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, the Springfield Museums, the Salmagundi Club Center for American Art in New York, AT&T, Ford Motor Co., and Prudential Insurance Co. He was a member and past president of the New England Watercolor Society and the Rockport Art Association.

In addition to his wife, son, and daughter Margret, Mr. Ahearn leaves another daughter, Patricia Terelak of Rockport; four stepdaughters, Mary Nee and Helen Keane of Ireland and Margaret Harkins and Brigid Watt of Scotland; two stepsons, Neil and Patrick Whoriskey of Ireland; his sister, Mary Keating of Arlington; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. A funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. today at St. Joachim's Church in Rockport. Burial will be in Beech Grove Cemetery in Rockport.

The Boston Globe 1 October 2009

Some of Martin's work is available for purchase from An Artful Touch in Rockport. A few others can be viewed online by clicking the following thumbnails.
Factory in Winter      The Granite Bridge      House Call

Straitsmouth Light      Winding River, autumn      Road to Glenveigh Castle


Return to The Ahern Family HomePage

This page copyright © 2009 by Dennis Ahern.