Bonnie Lee Ackley, 91, formerly of Roanoke, died Thursday, May 12, 2011, in Minneapolis, Minn. She was the wife of the late Richard Ackley. She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Dana and Peg Ackley, of Roanoke, and Roger and Patty Ackley, of Minneapolis; as well as five grandchildren, Amanda, Pete, Brian, Annette and Michelle; and four greatgrandchildren. Bonnie had a career as a news reporter and in public relations at a time when opportunities for women in those fields were highly restricted. As a young reporter in the 1950s, she was fearless in what she covered. Her picture of "Mr. Millionth," the millionth person killed in a traffic accident, was on the cover of Look
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, a popular national magazine at the time. While not setting out to break barriers, she went after and frequently landed jobs that were usually barred to women. In her role as manager and generous mentor, she gave many women the chance to learn and thrive, launching many successful careers. Bonnie is one of the many women who, by gently but firmly refusing to be denied, changed the world for the better for women and men alike. Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in her name to the United Way of the Roanoke Valley.
Published in Roanoke Times from May 16 to May 18, 2011