Traverse City Record-Eagle


April 15, 2014

John 'Jack' R. Ahart

TRAVERSE CITY — John Richard Ahart, or Jack, as he was known to family and friends, set sail for uncharted waters on April 13, 2014. Jack was born on Dec. 4, 1935 in Waukegan, Ill. to John and Olive Ahart.

Jack was in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1954-1962 as an aviation ordnanceman. Jack attended Michigan State University where he met his wife to be, Jean McLean. They would later marry and move to Traverse City where Jack would eventually begin, and retire from a career with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan. Later in life Jack and Jean set out on separate courses and Jack eventually married Chari VanderVeen-Gross. Chari brought with her two new crew members, Tonya and Cristian. Shortly after retiring, Jack and Chari also sailed off on separate courses.

Jack continued to live in the Traverse City area his entire life until sailing off into the sunset. He was proceeded in death by his parents and brother, William. He is survived by Jean and Chari; as well as his children, Chris (Sheryl), Nick (Lisa), and Pat; grandchildren, Joshua, James, Alex and Zane.

Per his request cremation has taken place. An informal gathering will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Thursday, April 17, 2014 at Life Story Funeral Home, in Traverse City. While Jack had no special wishes for his ashes, his son Chris had advised him that he would go sailing once more, to enjoy a warm summer breeze and cold beer, though, not anywhere near the infamous “crib”.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to Munson Hospice House and the Cherryland Humane Society. Please visit Jack’s webpage at to sign the guest book and share a message with his family.

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