Dr. James Stuart Ackelson, Jr. passed away at Westlake Woods on July 4, 2013. He was born in Pittsburgh on December 28, 1918.
He graduated from Edinboro State Teacher's College in 1942, where he met his wife, Margaret L. Kingsley. They were married December 23, 1943, at Yale, in New Haven, Conn. The marriage lasted 54 years, until her death in 1997.
He enlisted in the Army
Air Corps in 1942, and served with the 8th Air Force, as a radar officer, stationed in England. In 1951, he was recalled by the Air Force, during the Korean War
, and served as an electronics and guided missile project officer.
He was an educator in the Pittsburgh area all his life, serving as a high school teacher
in Brentwood and a principal in Avalon. As the superintendent of Keystone Oaks Schools, he oversaw the district's consolidation, plus the planning and construction of the new high school.
In 1963, he earned his Doctorate of Education degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He was an evening lecturer for the University of Pittsburgh and served as President of the Tri-State School Study Council, in 1970-71.
He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, as well as the American Association of School Administrators. He served on the Avalon Borough Planning Commission from 1964 until 1966. He sang with the Choristers of Pittsburgh and the Chancel Choir of the Tomoka, Florida United Methodist Church.
He is survived by three children, Laurel Ackelson Howarth, Adrian, Michigan; Christine Ackelson Hargest, Edinboro; and James S. Ackelson III (Cherie) of Cranberry. Also surviving him are grandchildren Patrick (Stephanie) Hargest, Joshua Hargest (Tiffany Ball) and Sarah Hargest; Todd (Jill) Howarth and Megan (Jason) Howarth Boring; Carley and Logan Ackelson; plus great-grandchildren, Courtney, Alexis, Hunter, Carter, Ellie, McKayla and Aidan. Also surviving are brother, Rolland (Bernie) Ackelson of Wyomissing and sister, Carole Schwoerer of New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the staff of Westlake Woods. A special thank you to AseraCare Hospice for their compassionate care and expertise. At his request, cremation has taken place. A celebration of Dr. Ackelson's life will take place at a later date.
The Glunt Funeral Home, Edinboro, is in charge of funeral arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to AseraCare Hospice, 1600 Peninsula Drive, Erie, PA 16505.