Harry L. “Bud” Ackerman, Jr., PhD, 88, of Riverton, CT, beloved husband for 60 years of the late Fame S. (Mannix) Ackerman, passed away peacefully Friday, February 25, 2022, at his home.
He was born in Wilson Borough, PA, son of Harry and Doris Lorraine (Smith) Ackerman, and grew up along the banks of the Delaware River in Belvidere, NJ. After graduating from Belvidere High, Bud served in the US Navy as yeoman aboard the USS Perry during the Korean War.
Bud had a wonderful life and was an exceptionally gifted man. His beloved wife, Fame, was his equal and together they built a remarkable life that was full of love, humor, and family. They spent their first date dancing and walking in the sand along the Delaware River in Water Gap, PA. They were married five months later. Bud was a natural teacher, and his keen interest in education and the betterment of all children gave him a great sense of purpose. He earned his undergraduate degree from East Stroudsburg State University in PA, and began his professional career as an American history and civics teacher in Rozelle Park, NJ. He went on to earn his master’s degree from Lehigh University and his PhD in developmental education from Michigan State University. The family moved to Little Rock, AR, where Bud worked at the University of Arkansas Medical Center. He was later the Vice President of the National Fund for Medical Education in CT, and he retired as Director of Graduate Medical Education from Michigan State University.
His sharp intellect, curiosity, and sense of humor brought out the best in his students and his community, and his humble demeanor belied the distinguished life he built. Bud also had a deep love and understanding of dogs; his uncanny ability to build trust with any wayward dog was legendary. He owned over a dozen throughout his life, and each one gave him immense joy, following along on his adventures.
Bud knew how to have fun and find adventure, and Fame was his natural sidekick. The family camped their way around the East coast in the 1960s and 70s, visiting battlefields, forts, and museums and stopping at every scenic lookout to admire the land’s natural beauty. Their travels brought them great joy and stories that they would later share with the grandkids.
Fame and Bud instilled in their children a sense of adventure and curiosity that carries each of them forward with courage and wonder. Fame and Bud retired to a log cabin (“Dunroamin’”) along the Farmington River in northwest CT, where the family gathered for sledding parties, bonfires around “Stumphenge,” tractor rides, swimming in Nannie’s blow-up pool, long talks on the deck, Christmas Eve traditions, and afternoon trips to the DQ. We are blessed with an endless stream of memories. Our dad was brilliant, very funny, and he possessed a charm that never failed him – and won him the love of his life, our mother Fame, with whom he is dancing in eternity. He is missed and he is forever loved.
Bud leaves a sister, Sandra Kaye Ulmer (George) of Vienna, NJ, sister-in-law Isabelle Lutjens (Wayne) of Lakeland, FL, and brother-in-law Richard A. Mannix of Bethlehem, PA; four children, Harry L. Ackerman, III and his wife Angeline of Westmoreland, NH, James B. Ackerman of Manchester, CT, and Jonathan T. Ackerman and his wife Jean of North Granby, and Jennifer A. deSimas and her husband Gerald of Avon. He leaves nine grandchildren: Harry L. Ackerman IV (Lee), Joshua (Julia), Kaileigh, Zachary, Madison, Sophie, Ella, Sarah, Julia; and two greatgrandchildren: Paige and Faye. He also leaves many nieces and nephews who called him their “Buncle Ud.”
In addition to his cherished wife Fame, Bud was predeceased by three sisters, Marjorie Jean Ackerman, Doris Virginia Ruch, and Shirley Lenore Kays; and numerous dogs, including Mac, his beloved Border Collie rescue.
Our heartfelt thanks to Bud’s aides who laughed with and cared for him over this last year: Cindy Zajac, Margaret Clavette, Ruth Collen, Kathleen Rinn, and Dee Williams. Private family services will be held at Carmon Funeral Home & Family Center of Avon. Burial will be at the family’s convenience in Belvidere Cemetery, Belvidere, NJ. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the humanitarian, environmental, or canine charity of your choice in Bud’s memory. Tell your friends and family you love them, hug a tree, pet a dog. For condolences, please visit www.carmonfuneralhome.com.