Robert George Ahonen
December 22, 2020
MELBOURNE, Fla. - Robert G. Ahonen, 88, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, at the Melbourne Terrace Rehabilitation Facility in Melbourne, Florida.
Bob (Robert) was born May 25, 1932, in Ironwood, Michigan, the eldest child of Nestor and Lena (Vittone) Ahonen. As a child, Robert attended school in Kimball, Phillips, and Prentice, Wisconsin. After high school, Robert enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served from 1950 to 1954 and was stationed in Sembach, Germany.
He married Carol Jean Hanson of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, on Sept. 7, 1957, at Saint Joseph's Church in Rice Lake. With his new bride in tow, they moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where Robert pursued a degree in electrical engineering. During this time the family began to grow with the birth of their first two children, Jay in 1958 and Jeff in 1959. Robert completed his studies in 1960 and the family moved to Minneapolis where he began working for General Mills. Bob accepted a position with General Dynamics in Rochester, New York, and the family moved again. A third child, Beth Marie, was born in 1964 and the family moved back to Minneapolis, to be closer to the grandparents. Bob began working for Control Data and worked with the early UNIVAC computers. In 1965, Anthony, their third son was born. The family moved to Hurley, Wisconsin, in 1972, where Bob owned and operated two businesses, Thin Film Services and Radio Shack in Gile. The family moved again, in 1977, this time to Melbourne, Florida, where Bob worked as an electrical scientist for Harris Corporation. Bob's last child, Carrie, was born in Melbourne in 1979. In 1980, the family moved back to Minneapolis where Bob worked for Honeywell until his retirement in 1994. During his career, Bob was responsible for developing many patented procedures in the field of electrical engineering and in 1992 won the prestigious Sweatt Award presented by Honeywell as their top electrical scientist worldwide.
Bob enjoyed working with computers, gardening, volunteering with the Boy Scouts and fishing in his free time. He was a talented woodworker and built many pieces of beautiful furniture for his family and friends.
Bob is survived by his wife, Carol; sons, Jay (Mary) Ahonen of Hurley, Jeff (Pam) Ahonen, and Anthony Ahonen of Melbourne; daughters, Beth (Pete) Peterson, of Palm Bay, and Carrie Ahonen of Denver, Colorado; grandchildren, Christopher Ahonen of Eustice, Hillary (Raymond) Downen of Deltona, Sydney Woolrath and Samantha Peterson of Palm Bay; great-granddaughter, Haedyn Ahonen; and great-grandson, Brody Woolrath. Also surviving are Robert's siblings, Evelyn (Gene) Clark of Rockford, Illinois, Thomas (Sandy) Ahonen of Arnold, Missouri, Nora Ahonen, of Dunedin, and Carl (Kathy) Ahonen of Dunedin. Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins also survive.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Nestor and Lena Ahonen.
A small ceremony for immediate family only will be held in Melbourne on Dec. 23. He will be greatly missed.