Dean Ralph Ackley, M.D., 82, passed away June 14, 2013, at his home in Fairbanks.
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Born June 5, 1931, in Minneapolis, to Lorraine and Ralph Ackley, he attended West High School before graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1956 as a doctor of medicine. After graduating, he served with the Indian Health Service as a physician on the San Carlos Apache reservation in Bylas, Ariz.
Dean practiced medicine for more than 50 years, beginning as a general practitioner in Arizona, and later practicing as a psychiatrist in California, Idaho, Washington and Alaska. He felt his most important work was with children and families, and it was his passion to create opportunities for rural Alaskans to receive care locally. Through his work, dozens of Alaska kids were able to return home to their families, and scores more didn't have to be sent Outside to receive care.
Dean had a lifelong love of the outdoors - hunting, fishing and hiking. Some of his fondest memories were of making maple syrup at his family's cabin in Minnesota.
Dean loved spending time with his two children and their families. He had the unique opportunity to spend the last six years of his life with his son Phil, and Phil's partner Heather, enjoying a retirement full of walks outside, western movies and ice cream.
Survivors include his daughter, Katie Marino; and his son, Phillip Ackley; and their partners, Chris Marino and Heather Wells; his grandsons, Ryan and Braden Marino; and his soon-to-be granddaughter, baby Ackley-Wells.
Dean was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Lorraine Ackley.
An informal celebration of life will be held from 3-6 p.m. today, Tuesday June 18, at the Dog Musher's Hall on Farmers Loop. In addition to his friends and colleagues, former clients and their families are invited to attend.
Though we are heartbroken to lose our dad, we are comforted that he has been freed from the trials of Alzheimer's disease. Memorial contributions are welcome at the
Special thanks to Hospice of the Tanana Valley, Fairbanks Resource Agency, his longtime caregivers, Marypat and Mylynn, and friends, Pete Braveman and Sue Carney for all your help and love during his long illness.
Published in Daily News-Miner on June 18, 2013