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Jan. 19, 1927 – Oct. 6, 2023

John Edward Ackerman, 96, a resident of Greenville, passed peacefully in his sleep at his home on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, Oct. 14, beginning at 11 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church with Father Bill Ngyen officiating and Dunklin Funeral Home directing. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until service time. Burial will follow in Sunrise Memorial Park.

A father, grandfather, and friend, he was a devout Catholic, who had a true heart for his Lord. A member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church since 1966, he served in many capacities including as a Lector, President of the Parish Council, Maintenance Committee and as a member of the Finance Committee. He also belonged to the Civitan Club and Knights of Columbus. He was fiercely loyal and deeply loved those close to him. He was a dedicated fan and never missed a University of Michigan (his alma mater) football game. In his free time, he enjoyed woodworking. He was a talented storyteller and had a sharp memory.

Born in White Plains, New York on Jan. 19, 1927, to Clifford J. Ackerman and Hazel LeDuke, he often shared the stories of his many adventures, friends, and jobs as a youth there. He graduated from White Plains High School in 1944.

John, a World War II veteran, enlisted in the Army on May 10, 1944, and was called to active duty on Feb. 19, 1945. Eventually rising to the rank of Sergeant, he served as a member of the Military Police. During his service he was stationed in Egypt, Morocco, and Northern Africa and traveled to the Persian Gulf, Iran, Cairo, Casablanca, Alexandria, Liberia, Algeria, Senegal, and the Suez Canal. He loved sharing that he traveled 6,685 miles by train, 4,362 by air, and 22,546 by ship for a total of 33,651 miles traveled overall during his military service. While serving, he earned the expert infantry badge, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal, before being honorably discharged on Nov. 18, 1946.

John met Janet Lee Richardson on a blind date in White Plains, N.Y. in 1948. They married on July 15, 1950, at the Church of St. Catherine of Sienna Riverside, Connecticut, and were married for 68 years prior to her death in 2018.

After his military service was complete, he earned his associate degree from Paul Smith’s Junior College in 1952, his bachelor’s degree in forestry from the University of Michigan in 1955, and later received his master’s degree in business accounting from Auburn University at Montgomery. He worked as a forester for the State of Virginia Forestry Commission (2 years), Union Camp (14 years), J.P. Lester Sawmill (20 years), and worked as a business accountant in hotel accounting (7 years).

John was preceded in death by his wife, Janet Ackerman; his father, Clifford Ackerman; his mother, Hazel LeDuke; his sister, Helen Effaldana; his sister, Mary Paulis; his brother, Louis Ackerman; his son, Edward “Ed” Ackerman; his son, James “Jim” Ackerman and several beloved feline and canine companions.

He is survived by his grandchildren, Andrew “Andy” Ackerman and Frances Ackerman; close friends, Teresa Cascio and Frank Cascio; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family members.

Active pallbearer is Frank Cascio.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. Elizabeth Catholic Church or The Wounded Warrior Project.

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