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Merle Van Ackere

Obituary
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Merle Van Ackere

Merle Van Ackere was born August 2, 1925 in Forest Grove, Oregon; and passed away January 30, 2013 in La Costa, CA. Merle was a long time resident of La Costa and lived there with his companion, Ardith Douglas, for over 25 years. Before moving to La Costa, Merle lived and worked many years in the South Bay. Merle graduated from Washington High School in Los Angeles, June 1943, and enlisted in the army in August 1943. After his army service, Merle attended USC where he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in June 1949. After graduation he became a registered professional engineer for the state of California and maintained this status throughout his career.

Merle worked for a number of electrical and aerospace companies throughout the So Cal area. Starting with Hughes Aircraft in Culver City, to Benson - Lehner in Los Angeles, to Packard Bell in Newbury Park, Litton Systems in Canoga Park and finally to TRW in Redondo Beach. Merle spent 20 years with TRW and retired in 1984. During a very distinguished career he worked directly for Howard Hughes on special projects. He worked on a number of satellite projects, designed wet bench robotic control systems, test equipment for the Polaris submarine and test equipment for the manned lunar landing module for the Apollo project…telling his family that his finger prints are on the moon as he helped program the computer panel for the lunar module.

Merles love of engineering carried over to his personal life where he always had to have the latest electronic gadget. His garage workbench was filled with electronic components used to modify, fabricate and repair all types of products. He was computer literate in the early stages of its development, understanding computer design and familiar with operating systems for IBM, HP, CPM, and initial computers from Epson, Olivetti and pinhead Dot matrix printers. After retirement he worked on several specialty projects including one that involved robotics for a New York Broadway show.

The family would like to extend their deep gratitude to Davita Dialysis Center in Encinitas, under the care of Dr. Reese. Also to Dr. Brunst of Carlsbad, and especially to Jerry and Bebe Rachio who cared for Merle for over 5 years.

Merle is survived by son, John and daughter, Martha. Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on Feb. 16, 2013
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