After a yearlong battle with leukemia, veteran Disney and Hanna-Barbera animator and teacher John Ahern passed away Wednesday morning in Orem, Utah.
Ahern fought leukemia for the last year or so and after what appeared to be a victorious battle, the cancer returned, according to BYU colleague Kelly Loosli. Ahern's animation career started at Disney on SLEEPING BEAUTY and LADY AND THE TRAMP and going on up through JUNGLE BOOK. After his time at Disney he worked for Hanna-Barbera working in varying capacities for the studio and overseeing animation in the U.S., Japan, and Korea. He worked as a layout artist on JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, THE NEW TOM AND JERRY SHOW, CATANOOGA CATS and CHARLOTTE'S WEB.
After retiring from animating, Ahern taught for a year in the animation program at BYU. "He made a huge impact on the students and faculty and will be deeply missed," Loosli said.