February 16, 1926 ~ March 3, 2019
Born in: Avoca, Iowa
Resided in: Arvada, Colorado
Frances Mae (Madsen) Ahrenholtz, 93, passed away peacefully on March 3, 2019, in Arvada, CO at Brookdale Senior Living Memory Care Center, where she resided since May 2015, after battling dementia for many years. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 71 years, Harold.
Frances was the youngest of four children born to Danish immigrants Peter and Margretha Madsen in Avoca, IA, in 1926. She grew up on a farm near Corley until 1936 when the family moved to the town of Harlan, IA, where she graduated from Harlan High School in 1944.
Frances married Harold LeRoy Ahrenholtz in 1944 at the Methodist Church in Phenix City, AL, near where Harold was stationed with the U.S Army. When he returned from WWII, they farmed near Defiance, IA.
In 1953 the family moved to Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Frances was very busy raising children, getting everyone to school, scouts and ballgames. She was active at Grace Evangelical United Brethren Church, sewing costumes for pageants, she played an angel in the church’s Christmas Pageant, helped with fundraisers such as making Jolly Rancher wreaths, and participated in church dinners. There were even times she was recruited to help Harold install windows- often before dawn- so she could be home to get her children to school on time.
In 1963 Frances started working at Montgomery Ward, first as a clerk and quickly moving upward, until she was in charge of all the store’s monies. She enjoyed the responsibility, her co-workers and working with the public for 25 years. Her co-worker friendships continued after Wards closed, with a “reunion luncheon” every year for many years.
She looked forward to the yearly Ahrenholtz Brother/Sister reunion trips to a number of different places including Hawaii, South Dakota, and Colorado, as well as the reunions with her siblings Harriet in Missouri, Evelyn in Iowa and Ray in Nebraska.
Frances is survived by her children Linda Rigg (Richard) of Cheyenne, WY, Larry (Kathryn) of Anaheim, CA, Bruce of Wheat Ridge, CO, and Shirley Rothmier (Larry), of Edmonds, WA, 8 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandchild, and 35 nieces and nephews.
Funeral Services will be held at Arvada United Methodist Church at 10:00am Wednesday, March 13, 2019, with reception to follow. The procession will leave the church 1:00-1:15 for 2:00 burial at Fort Logan National Cemetery.