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Norman R. Ahlheim, 84, 11679 County Route 125, Chaumont, passed away Monday April 30th at home surrounded by his loving family and Hospice. He was born March 25, 1934 in Watertown, N.Y., the son of the late Norman L. and Mary A. Ahlheim. He is survived by his wife Cynthia Richter Ahlheim whom he married on August 26, 1961 and three children, a son Mark Ahlheim, his fiancé Deana Winslow and Dylan Winslow of Chaumont, Mark’s daughter Emily and her fiancé Caleb McGuire of Rochester and a daughter Gretchen Fields, her husband Steven of Essex, Vermont and their sons Tyler and Matthew, and a son and his wife Karl Ahlheim and Paula of Chaumont.
As a young boy, Norman was active in the Cub and Boy Scout troops in the 1940's, a member for 4 years of the gymnastic team of the YMCA leader's corps from 1943 to 1948, and was involved with the National Rifle Association youth program from 1948to 1950, winning third place in target competition in NYS in 1948.
Norm graduated from Watertown High School in June 1951 and entered the Navy during the Korean War. He received his naval education at the Great Lakes Naval Training and was assigned to Key West Naval Center. There he spent two years working in the development of underwater guided torpedoes being launched from submarines, destroyers and torpedo boats.
Upon discharge from the Navy Norm entered Syracuse University and graduated in 1957 with a BS degree in accounting and finance. He went to work in his family business Ahlheim Bros., Inc., a wholesale specialty food distributor. In 1960 he became a teacher in the Watertown School of Commerce leaving there in 1962 to become a tax accountant with the Edwin H. Adams & Company CPA's. In 1968, he became associated with the Bryant-Eager Insurance Agency, subsequently acquiring the Agency from Mr. Bryant and purchasing the Ray Smith insurance agency to create Northland Agency, LTD. Mr. Ahlheim assumed the Presidency and expanded the business by acquisitions and growth and an additional office in Potsdam. In 1987, he sold the agency to Goldome Savings Bank in Buffalo, NY. After the sale, Mr. Ahlheim continued to operate insurance agencies in Utica, Waterville, and Ilion for Goldome Savings Bank. He retired in 1996 and the agency was purchased by Rose & Kiernan, Inc.
Norm was active in Masonic organizations serving as Master of the Watertown Masonic Lodge in 1965, Master of Scottish Rite Masonic Bodies, and 32nd degree Mason. He was also a member of the Media Temple Shriners. He was previously a member of Trinity Church and served on the Vestry of the Church in 1975-76. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Watertown.
Mr. Ahlheim was also active in many local groups and organizations. He served on the Boards of the March of Dimes, Greater Watertown Jaycees in the 1960's, the Board of the Watertown Chamber of Commerce 1969-71. He was Treasurer and Vice President and Chairman of the Fire Prevention committee of the Chamber for three years, a member of EPS Associates, a stock investment group and served on the Watertown Rotary board where he was President in 1983 and received Rotary’s prestigious Paul Harris Award. He was a Director and President of the Cerebral Palsy Board from 1968-1974, a member of the Jefferson-Lewis Boy Scouts board from 1977-80 and served on the advisory board of Community Savings Bank from 1977-80.
Norm’s community involvement continued for decades. He was United Fund Director from 1975-1980 serving on various fundraising committees. A longtime sailor, Norm was Treasurer of the Crescent Yacht Club from 1963-68 and served as Commodore in 1974-1975.
Norm was a Board member and President of the Jefferson County Historical Society from 1975-1980, Trustee of the Jefferson Community College Scholarship Corporation from 1979-82 and served as trustee on the Northern New York Community Foundation from 1985 to 1995. He was also trustee of the House of The Good Samaritan from 1983 to 1993, trustee of Samaritan Keep Home and the Henry Keep Home between 1997 and 2001. He was also the project supervisor for construction of the Ives Hill retirement center. He was on the Board of Brookside Cemetery Association and served as its President 1987-200l.
Mr. Ahlheim also served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for the City of Watertown and the Town of Lyme. He belonged to the Cosmopolitan Dance Club, The Black River Valley Club, and two men's social clubs, the Staplin Creek Society and the Cemetery Sitters.
Norm enjoyed his summers sailing on Chaumont Bay and Lake Ontario. When not sailing, Norm could be found cruising around in his vintage Mercedes or biking around Point Salubrious. He was also an accomplished woodworker and furniture maker.
He was a beloved “Papa” to his grandchildren whom he adored as much as they adored him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother John and sister-in-law Grace.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Cleveland Funeral Home, Watertown, NY. Online condolences may be made at www.clevelandfuneralhomeinc.com.
There will be no calling hours. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 5th at 11am at First Presbyterian Church in Watertown. The burial will be at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Norman and Cynthia Ahlheim Community Fund, c/o Northern New York Community Foundation, 131 Washington St., Watertown NY 13601.
Norm loved life to the fullest and wrote: “We only pass this way once and I have always felt that one needs to serve their fellow citizens and community to have life’s fulfillment. I feel that I have done my part and had a great time doing it. It could never have been possible without the backing of Cynthia and family.”
The family would like to thank Hospice of Jefferson County for its caring and loving support.
Northern New York Community Foundation
131 Washington St, Watertown NY 13601