William Roy Ahlem, Jr. (Bill), passed away August 23 in Turlock, at the age of 74. Bill was the second of five children born to Bill and Elsie Ahlem of Hilmar. He was a third generation dairyman and throughout his life, he made a great contribution to the dairy industry both locally and nationally. He attended Hilmar schools and later graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Dairy Science. Returning to the farm, he became very active on the boards of several local, state and national organizations. He served on both the California and American Farm Bureau Board of Directors and served six years on the Board of Directors of Western United Dairymen, California’s largest dairy producer organization. He also served as Chairman of the National Dairy Board. Gifted with boundless energy, Bill was an avid skier and bicyclist, happiest with a physical challenge before him that involved other friends in a contest of speed and skill. In his forties he completed two Big Sur Marathon runs. Bill was always active in his local community and served on the foundation board of California State University, Stanislaus for many years as well as the Emanuel Medical Center Board. He also served twelve years on the board of the Hilmar Unified School District. He was a lifelong member of Hilmar Covenant Church, a lover of God and a friend and encourager to many.
Bill was preceded in death by a daughter, Adrienne Allison, and a son, Matthew Scott.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Carolyn Scott, and two adopted sons, Sabino Ahlem Herrera (Lindsey) and Roger Ahlem Herrera (Teresa) who continue to manage the dairy business. Happily, these sons have given Bill and Carolyn five granddaughters to enjoy as well. Four siblings also survive Bill: Sharon Clauss (Richard), Judi Honore (Fred), Charles Ahlem (Druann) and Jim Ahlem (Carol).
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at the Hilmar Covenant Church at 10:00 am on Friday, September 7. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to Hilmar Covenant Church, 20056 American Ave., Hilmar, CA., 95324 or to another cause dear to Bill’s heart, The Merced Rescue Mission, 527 W. 20th St., Merced, CA 95340.