BENNET ROBERT ACKERMAN "Ben"
Bennet Robert "Ben" Ackerman, 87, passed away peacefully on January 11, 2014, in Brevard, NC, following a stroke suffered in June 2013. Interment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery on July 10, 2014.
Ben is preceded in death by his father, Bennet Hubert Ackerman; mother, Georgianna Taylor Ackerman Sherman; and wife of 56 years, Jeanne Vermilyea Ackerman.
Ben was born March 10, 1926, in Newark, NJ. He learned to sail as a sea scout, which led to his naval career and a lifelong passion for sailing. Ben served our country during the Korean War
, retired as a Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and worked for IBM for 35 years. A highlight of his career was contributing to Project Mercury, which sent the first Americans into space in the early 1960s. He celebrated his 85th birthday downhill skiing with family at Park City, UT, and was racing his 16' catamaran the day before his stroke. He was a member and leader of the Potomac River Sailing Association for nearly 50 years. Ben and Jeanne volunteered for more than 20 years with Special Olympics
of Montgomery County (MD), where they established ongoing programs in sailing and skiing.
Surviving Bennet is his son, Bruce Bennet Ackerman (Susan Werner); daughters, Bonnie Ackerman Lanton (Steven) and Laura Ackerman Kennedy (Anthony); grandsons, Alex David Lanton and Eric Bennet Lanton; and granddaughter, Katherine Ames Grey (Christian).
Ben was known for his cheerful, friendly, and generous nature. In his memory, the family requests that those whose lives he touched reach out to others in the same spirit.
Condolences may be sent to the family at