Ernest C. Aharrah

Ernest C. Aharrah

Ernest C. Aharrah

Ernest C. Aharrah

Educator, naturalist, writer, mentor

CLARION Ernest C. (Ernie) Aharrah, died November 29, 2019, at the Clarion Health Care.

Born in Millstone Township, Elk County, Pa. on April 24, 1927, he was the son of the late Carl G. and Faye C. Hidinger Aharrah.

On June 10, 1950, he married the former Margaret A. (Peggy) Behringer at Plumer, Pa., and she preceded him in death on January 8, 2018.

He attended the Melzer School, a one room school in Heath Township, Jefferson County for the first eight grades. He graduated from Brookville High School in 1944.

Mr. Aharrah matriculated at Clarion Teachers College in September 1944 but his college education was interrupted by a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps at Parris Island, S.C.

Returning to Clarion in September 1946, Ernie graduated in 1949 with a B.S. in Education. He also holds a M. Ed in Biology from Penn State University and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

He had additional credits from Wayne State University.

Mr. Aharrah taught at Ashland Township High School, at Kossuth, Pa., and at Chief Logan Joint Schools at Yeagertown, Pa., before returning to Clarion.

While a demonstration teacher at Clarion State Teachers College he taught in the Clarion Area School District.

For many years he wrote and illustrated the "Naturalist's Notebook," which appeared regularly at the Clarion News. He also contributed to other publications.

During his college days and while teaching at Ashland Township, he was active in the Boy Scouts of America as an adult leader. While at Ashland Township he coached both athletics and dramatics.

At Chief Logan and Clarion Area he coached dramatics.

Mr. Aharrah was a long-time member of Clarion Community Theater where he served as one of the group's past presidents and performed in many roles in numerous shows. Ernie was a mentor to many members of the group.

He completed his career as Professor of Biology and Science Education at Clarion University. He was the first director of Alumni Affairs at Clarion and wrote the initial draft of by-laws for the Clarion University Foundation.

During his teaching career he was honored as Conservation Educator of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts. He was named a distinguished faculty member on the Clarion campus.

In 1985 the Clarion Alumni Association awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Ernie was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Clarion where he was on ordained deacon and elder. He is a past Sunday School teacher and has served as a lay minister in the church.

His memberships included Pennsylvania Forestry Association, American Society of Surface Mining and Reclamation, Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Retired Faculty, Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, American Legion (Craig E. Fleming Post 66) of Clarion, Clarion County Historical Society, Clarion Conservancy and the Clarion County YMCA.

He had served on the governing boards of the Clarion Hospital (Treasurer), Clarion University Foundation, Clarion Alumni Association (vice-president and president), the Clarion Conservation District (secretary, vice president, and president), Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development (vice-president, president, and treasurer).

He enjoyed his home, teaching, hunting, fishing, and traveling.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by a daughter Cheryl (Cheri) Aharrah Reid who died September 1980, and a brother and sister-in-law, John D. and Marie Aharrah.

Ernie is survived by a nephew and his wife, Steven J. and Peggy Aharrah and their sons Steven J. Aharrah II and wife Amy, and Gary A. Aharrah and wife Kelly, his wife's brother and sister-in-law Fredrick W. and Patricia Behringer.

Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday December 4, 2019, at the Goble Funeral Home & Crematory, 330 Wood St, Clarion, and from 10 a.m. until time of services at 11 a.m. Thursday, December 5, 2019, at the First Presbyterian Church in Clarion with Rev. James Dietrich officiating. Interment will follow in the Sunset Hills Memorial Gardens in Cranberry.

Memorial donations may be made to the Clarion University Foundation, Peggy and Sherri Aharrah's scholarship.

Friends and family may send online condolences, order flowers and memorials, and obtain additional information by visiting