Our beloved Stig “Tony” Ahlenius went to be with the Lord at home on 20 February, 2023, at the age of 70.
Tony was born in Sollefteå, Sweden on 20 December, 1952, to Stig and Siv Ahlenius, and was the second of three children. Tony’s family emigrated from Sweden to Miami, FL in 1958. He and his older sister, Laila, began first grade that same year at Comstock Elementary School. Neither he nor his sister could speak English, and he remembered telling classmates little stories in Swedish while on the playground.
In 1960, the family moved to Carol City, where Tony attended North Glade Elementary and Carol City Jr. High. After one more move to South Dade, Tony would graduate from Miami Palmetto Senior High in 1970. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Florida State University, and music continued to be one of his lifelong talents and passions. During his time at college he decided to make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. This would forever alter the course of his life for good.
Upon returning to Miami in 1977, Tony took a job at a store called “Gold Triangle” where he would meet his wife-to-be, Katie, who was welcomed with open arms by his wonderful Swedish family. Tony loved writing songs on the piano, riding bikes at the beach, and studying the Bible. He had many good friends at Southwest Community Church, and regularly went to a big singles Bible Study at his friends Pat and Wendell Ford’s house. In May of 1978, he took a job for five months and served as a Merchant Marine on a University of Miami research vessel with the man who discovered the RMS Titanic, Robert Ballard. They sailed to Bermuda, the Galapagos Islands, and the Azores. He spoke of God’s artistry displayed in the beauty of the sky and stars at night over the ocean. Upon his return, he applied and was accepted to Grace Theological Seminary at Winona Lake, Indiana. He spent only one year at Grace, as God had other plans for his life.
Tony and Katie were married on 4 April,1981 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Katie’s hometown. Her parents, Don and Mary Jane (Mezur) Hagerty and her sisters fell in love with Tony and he loved them too. He always made everyone laugh, and he told the best original stories to his kids and nieces and nephews, using different voices for each of the characters. He was like the Pied Piper with children, and had the energy to out-last them all!
After three years in Miami, Tony moved his little family, which now included Ryan, to Stone Mountain, Georgia, in November of 1984. This marked a new chapter in Stig’s life. He began what was to be a 38 year career with The Home Depot, starting his first day on the job at Store #1. He was a part of the steady rise of this new company, meeting both founders, Bernie Markus and Arthur Blank, at the Home Depot Pep Rallies. He made so many good friends, and helped hundreds of people over the years. He especially treasured his friends and associates at the Loganville Store. Stig’s orange apron was always stained with ink and full of badges he would earn for excellence on the job.
In the spring of 1986, Stig was accepted into the Dekalb County Fire Academy, and graduated 3 months later in June. His career with Dekalb County Fire Services would span nearly three decades. He felt that this was his true calling, and his spirit of adventure and servant’s heart were sated while working in the vocation he loved. Stig was deeply connected to the men he worked with, and found in them a brotherhood born from their unique and intense experiences together.
Tony, Katie, and their growing family of four kids moved to their home in Loganville in October of 1990. Luke came along in 1994, completing their family of five. They and their children attended Stone Mountain Community Church and Cornerstone Bible Church in Lilburn for many years. Tony matured in his already deep love for Jesus, which continued to grow throughout his life. At heart, he was a servant and a generous giver who loved his family and others before himself. His unique personality and great sense of humor made him easy to love, and his work ethic made him the admiration of many, including his sons and daughters. His love of music permeated his life, as he was always writing songs and playing his piano. Most days he could be heard humming one of his original songs, many about his wife Katie. He also loved collecting baseball cards and comic books, playing Yahtzee with Piper and his kids, and reading books about people and history.
In June of 2019, Stig and Katie and their family went to Sweden, to visit his birth country for the first time since he was 12 years old. His sister Laila also traveled with them. There was a wonderful reunion with his brother Ulf, who had moved to Sweden in 1992. He visited the church where his parents were married, spent time with his cousins and their families, and stayed in the town where his mother grew up. This trip reignited a love for his beautiful birth country, and reconnected him to his Swedish relatives and ancestry. It was a gift to share this magical time with his adult children who had grown up hearing all the little stories about Sweden.
Tony, we will miss your irreplaceable love, humor, energy, and generous heart. We have the Lord and countless family memories to comfort us, and your beautiful spirit is woven into the fabric of each of your children and grandchildren. Honoring God as you would do, we include your favorite verses from Psalm 73:24-26: “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Stig is survived by his wife, Kathleen (Hagerty), and their five children: Ryan (Kelsie), Sean (Sarah), Kaitlin, Emily (Zach) Hindes, Lucas (fiancée Lea Sack). His precious grandchildren, whom he adored: Piper Linnea and Penelope Lisbeth Allen, and Dean Lucas Ahlenius, and siblings: his sister Laila Reed, and younger brother, Ulf Svennson. He was preceded in death by his Pappa, Stig, and his Mamma, Siv (Svensson).
The Celebration of Life will be held at Cornerstone Bible Church on Saturday morning, March 18, with visitation from 10am – 11am, and the service at 11am. All friends and family are welcome. The family asks that donations be made to “Tunnels to Towers” in lieu of flowers, https://t2t.org/donate/
To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Stig Tony Ahlenius please visit our Sympathy Store.
Reposted courtesy of Tim Stewart Funeral Home.
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