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Caroline Ackerman

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Caroline Ackerman Obituary
Caroline Iverson Ackerman passed away on the Lords Day, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Billings. Caroline Emilie Iverson was born on March 6, 1918, in Milwaukee, to Jacob Engval and Ella Dorothea (Schmidt) Iverson. Caroline graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1939 with a B.A. degree in journalism and education. Caroline worked as a classified advertising and business feature writer at the Milwaukee Journal. While there, she noticed an advertisement for free flying lessons at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, sponsored by the U.S. Government. Rejected initially because she was a woman, Caroline was called back when the school failed to meet its quota of males. She passed all her courses, and received her pilots license in the fall of 1940. After receiving government certification as a Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Ground School instructor in the U.S. Civilian Pilot Training program, Caroline taught at the University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee), Carroll College and the Milwaukee School of Engineering in the evenings. Among the courses she taught were navigation, meteorology, theory of flight, engines and civil air regulations. Caroline continued her own education, taking advanced lessons in open cockpit and acrobatic flying. In 1941, she and one of her students made a much-heralded flight to Alaska: a first in a small, 65-horsepower, two-seater airplane. In the spring of 1942, Life magazine recruited Caroline to be an aviation researcher, developing aviation-related picture stories, covering stories with photographers and writing captions. Before World War II, flying had been considered primarily for daredevils, but the military began to rely heavily on its use and approached Life for help alleviating public fears about flying. Caroline was promoted to aviation editor at the age of 26, and continued in that position for the duration of the war. Because of her previous flying experience, she was given the opportunity to fly B-26, B-24 and B-17 bombers, as well as the first B-29 to come off the line in Wichita, Kan., during tours of military bases. In 1947, Caroline, like many other women in the workforce, was released from her job after the soldiers returned from the war. She left Life and was hired by Shell Oil Company, founding the companys first program for public relations for women, based on family automobile touring. She worked under the pseudonym Carol Lane, Womens Travel Director, a persona who traveled frequently to speak to womens groups about efficiently packing a suitcase, entertaining children in the car and finding child-friendly destinations for weekend trips (which she called Tourettes). She also wrote a syndicated weekly column, Tips on Touring, and appeared on radio and TV shows as a travel expert. On Dec. 31, 1949, Caroline Emilie Iverson married Leslie Les Ackerman in Wauwatosa, Wis. Shortly after marrying, Caroline quit Shell and moved to Warwick, R.I., where Les worked as a chemical engineer and commodity manager for the U.S. Rubber Company, while Caroline stayed home to raise their three children: Karin, Terrell and Jon. While at home, Caroline did some freelance writing, but mostly gratis publicity work for organizations such as the Girl Scouts, Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Cub Scouts, American Association of University Women (AAUW), etc. In 1965, the family moved to South Natick, Mass., where Caroline returned to school, receiving her M.S. in journalism at Boston University in 1969. Caroline joined the faculty of Northeastern University as a journalism professor in 1971. She left Northeastern in 1978. Throughout her life, Caroline had been involved with the Lutheran Church and, after her retirement from Northeastern, she assisted with communications development within the New England Synod and on a national level. She wrote for and eventually became editor of the New England Lutheran until her retirement in 1992. Her husband joined her, becoming her chief editorial assistant after his retirement. Caroline was also New England correspondent for The Lutheran, the churchs national publication. The Ackermans had been married 51 years when Les died in 2001; in 2004, Caroline moved to St. Johns Lutheran Ministries in Billings near her son Terry and his family. Mrs. Ackerman is pre-deceased by her parents; husband Les and beloved son Jon. She is survived by her sister, Dorothy Edwards of Baraboo, Wis.; daughter, Karin Field and her husband Ron of Matthews, N.C., grandsons Scott (Cathy), Brad (Jamie) and Jeff (Bethany); her son, Terry and his wife Jill of Billings, granddaughters Amanda and Lysbeth; and Jons children Russell (Shelby) and Heather. She is also survived by three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Carolines family would like to thank the staff of St. Johns, especially the caregivers at Hansen Cottage past and present, for their love and support over the past 8 years. Cremation has taken place with a memorial service to be held in Natick, Mass., in the spring of 2013. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to St. Johns Foundation, 2429 Mission Way, Billings, MT 59102 or the . Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, Billings, MT has charge of arrangements. Remembrances may be shared with the family by visiting www.michelottisawyers.com.

Published in MetroWest Daily News on Sept. 28, 2012
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