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Celebrating the life of
Michael John Ahearn Ph.D.
June 22, 1936 - May 15, 2016
Services under the direction of:
Bradshaw Carter
(713) 521-0066
No services are scheduled at this time.

Joyce, I am truly sorry for your loss, but from Michael's obituary, I can see that you have been blessed with a truly Godly man and a loving husband. I have been thinking about you lately and decided to try to locate you online. I came across some lovely pictures of the two of you. I hope that you are receiving these condolences and that I might hear from you sometime. Your old friend, Charlene Middlekauf Vance

Charlene Middlekauf Vance, Franklin, TX

I’m so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in God’s promise of a resurrection where we will be reunited with our loved ones who have passed away. John 5:28, 29

Deborah, Houston, TX

I’m so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in God’s promise of a resurrection where we will be reunited with our loved ones who have passed away. John 5:28, 29

Deborah, Houston, TX

Michael is loved by so many. Fifteen years ago, he welcomed our family into his church and his life with open arms. He had an enthusiasm that was contagious. We will miss him greatly.

Hollaway Family, Houston, Tx

I pray that comfort be found in knowing that Dr. Ahearn is resting peacefully with his Lord. I extend my sympathies and will hold his memory in my heart. He was such a good person.

Sonya Dalton, Houston, TX

A wonderful man! God has called his servant to his reward. Rest in peace. Our prayers are for his wife and family in the days to come.

Lawrence & Jacqueline Furr, Houston, TX

For indeed the world has lost a very special man, with whom I worked and came to respect, admire and love.

Frances A. Franco, Houston, Tx

Michael John Ahearn went to be with his heavenly Father on Sunday, the 15th of May, 2016 from his home in Houston, Texas.

He was born in Jacksonville, Texas to Reba Stripling Ahearn and John Tom Ahearn on June 22, 1936. Raised in a home filled with love, laughter, extended family and friends, he was a devoted son, brother, husband, uncle and friend. Michael will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by all who were blessed to know him.

After graduating from Jacksonville High School, he attended The University of Texas at Austin, where he completed his undergraduate and graduate studies. While in graduate school, he was inspired in his scientific endeavors by John J Biesele, Ph.D. and Theophilus S. Painter, Ph.D. Michael was always grateful for their help and encouragement as he learned the intricacies of a cutting-edge scientific instrument newly acquired by the university- the electron microscope. It was also during this period that he met the love of his life, Joyce Donaho Ramey. It was love at first sight on a blind date, and he asked her to marry him that very first night. He faithfully courted the seventeen year old as she finished high school and then quickly completed her undergraduate degree. They were joyfully wed on June 6, 1964. It was always, truly a match made in heaven.

Upon completion of his doctorate in 1965, Michael was offered a position at Sloan Kettering and M.D. Anderson. He spent the next 23 years at M.D. Anderson directing the diagnostic ultrastructure hematology laboratory, as well as conducting research. He then joined the Office of Academic Programs with increasing administrative responsibilities. He worked tirelessly on one of M.D. Anderson’s most important educational advancements: gaining approval to award Bachelor of Science degrees to allied health students in 2001 and to jointly confer Master’s and Doctoral degrees in biomedical sciences in 2002. After becoming a degree granting institution, Michael led the school to earning accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This accreditation reaffirmed M.D. Anderson as a leading academic institution.

In addition to being the founding dean of The School of Health Professions, he directed the Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation High School Summer Program in Biomedical Sciences. Additionally, he started a summer workshop for science educators that was endowed and named for him. His passion for cancer prevention led to developing Project S.A.F.E.T.Y (Sun Awareness for Educating Today’s Youth) a skin cancer prevention program curriculum in over 46,000 schools nationwide. When the Texas Cancer Council funded An Action Plan on Skin Cancer for the State of Texas, he had the pleasure of serving as project director, working with health practitioners from every sector of the state to produce a meaningful plan to reduce the rate of skin cancer in Texas. When he and Joyce arrived at M.D. Anderson, they never dreamed he would be there for 46 years, but God never changed “the call” and the institution never stopped providing new opportunities for ideas, growth, and service.

He was always surprised and humbled by the honors awarded him. Several that were special to him were the Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence in Education, The Texas Science Hall of Fame in 2002, the President’s Award in 2011, and HESCA’s Elmer Friman Best of Show Award for Project S.A.F.E.T.Y. Michael was inducted into the University of Texas System’s Academy of Science Education and named a UT System Distinguished Teaching Professor.

Michael Ahearn was a consummate gentleman and never forgot that his ultimate measure was the dignity and respect with which he treated others. This sense of decency was apparent in every aspect of his life; to his wife and family, friends, professional colleagues and students. He unselfishly opened doors of opportunity for countless others.

Michael loved the Lord, Jesus Christ with all his heart and endeavored to live a life honoring to his Savior. He was an active member of River Oaks Baptist Church where he served as a trustee of the church, deacon, and chairman of the diaconate and on numerous church committees.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Joyce; his sisters, Martha Ahearn Fox, and Mary Ahearn Lutz, and his sister in law, Betsy Wilkes. Numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews were blessings in his life, as were his dear East Texas cousins.

Joyce and the family wish to express their profound gratitude to: Michael’s beloved physician, Christopher Logothetis, M.D. His friendship, skill, and loving wisdom were truly gifts from GOD, as were the members of his staff; to every single member of the James C. Broach Inpatient Unit P8W- you were the hands, feet, and voice of Christ to Michael and Joyce for many weeks- There are not enough words; and finally to the technicians in Radiation Oncology, many graduates of the School of Health Professions who worked tirelessly to allow him to “ring the bell” - He was so proud of your gracious professionalism and deeply appreciated your daily encouragement.

A memorial service is to be conducted at eleven o’clock in the morning on Saturday, the 21st of May in the sanctuary of River Oaks Baptist Church, 2300 Willowick Road, Houston, Texas 77027 where the Reverend Martus Miley will officiate. Immediately following the service, a reception will be held at the church.

In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed to the Children's/Youth Ministries of River Oaks Baptist Church 2300 Willowick Road, Houston, TX 77027 or The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, P.O Box 4464, Houston, Texas 77210-9554.

SHARE YOUR CONDOLENCES

  

GUEST BOOK

Joyce, I am truly sorry for your loss, but from Michael's obituary, I can see that you have been blessed with a truly Godly man and a loving husband. I have been thinking about you lately and decided to try to locate you online. I came across some lovely pictures of the two of you. I hope that you are receiving these condolences and that I might hear from you sometime. Your old friend, Charlene Middlekauf Vance

Charlene Middlekauf Vance, Franklin, TX

I’m so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in God’s promise of a resurrection where we will be reunited with our loved ones who have passed away. John 5:28, 29

Deborah, Houston, TX

I’m so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in God’s promise of a resurrection where we will be reunited with our loved ones who have passed away. John 5:28, 29

Deborah, Houston, TX

Michael is loved by so many. Fifteen years ago, he welcomed our family into his church and his life with open arms. He had an enthusiasm that was contagious. We will miss him greatly.

Hollaway Family, Houston, Tx

I pray that comfort be found in knowing that Dr. Ahearn is resting peacefully with his Lord. I extend my sympathies and will hold his memory in my heart. He was such a good person.

Sonya Dalton, Houston, TX

A wonderful man! God has called his servant to his reward. Rest in peace. Our prayers are for his wife and family in the days to come.

Lawrence & Jacqueline Furr, Houston, TX

For indeed the world has lost a very special man, with whom I worked and came to respect, admire and love.

Frances A. Franco, Houston, Tx

Candle tribute lit by Frances A. Franco — Texas


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