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Ahlberg heads up Business Hall inductees

By Tony Kindelspire
The Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT — A Longmont icon will take his rightful place among other luminaries this week, when he is posthumously inducted into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame.

Rodney Ahlberg, who passed away last November at 84, will be one of six people inducted as part of the class of 2004.

“That’s why I nominated him, because he had a list of accomplishments a mile long,” said Ahlberg’s longtime friend, Jack Dickens, who served for decades with Ahlberg in the Longmont Rotary Club. “One of the mottos of Rotary is ‘service above self,’ and that was Rod Ahlberg.”

Rod and his wife, Corrine, started Ahlberg Funeral Chapel in 1958, and Corrine said her husband would have been thrilled with his induction.

“I was amazed when they decided to include Rod,” she said. “I was so pleased when they honored him by doing this because it is a great honor.”

Aside from the Rotary club, Ahlberg also was dedicated to many other local causes. Among them were the Boy Scouts of America, the OUR Center and the First Lutheran Church.

Corrine remembers a time even before they were married, when Rod was approached by church leaders to start a Boy Scout Troop at First Lutheran, which later became Troop 59.

“They asked him if he would take the leadership of it,” she recalled. “He said, ‘Oh, I guess I can.’

“That was the type of person he was.”

Ahlberg’s two sons, Rod and Randy, operate the funeral home today, and Corrine is still active in the business.

She said her sons are very proud of their father’s induction into the Hall of Fame, too.

“They were thrilled, really, and they were very honored also for the fact that he taught them so many things,” Corrine said. “They both tried other things, but they came into the business on their own. ”

Nominations to the hall of fame can come two ways, according to Stacy Cornay, the owner of Longmont’s Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising and one of nine members of the hall’s board of directors.

She said people on the board can submit nominations, and they take nominations from the general public.

“As you can imagine, it’s very difficult each year because there are so many qualified people,” Cornay said. “We generally try to have each community within Boulder County represented.”

Other inductees into the class of 2004 are:

•David Jacobs, the founder and president of Boulder’s Spyder Active Sports. What began as a start-up in his kitchen has grown into one of the leading specialty skiwear brands in the world. Jacobs is a five-time finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for the Rocky Mountain region.

•Laurence Paddock worked his entire career for the Boulder Daily Camera, ultimately retiring as editor — the third in his family to hold that job title. Among his contributions to the community included serving as president or chairman of, among other groups, the Colorado Press Association, the Boulder Historical Society and the Boulder Rotary Club.

•Bill Reynolds, a Boulder native, is a real estate developer whose most recent project is the 400,000-square-foot One Boulder Plaza, a mixed-use development in downtown Boulder. Reynolds served in the U.S. Navy and is a 1962 graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

•Kevin Thede and Ronda Leggett started The Marketplace Bakery together in 1985, and today the place in Louisville is not only a popular gathering spot, but also provides baked goods for several area charities.