Thomas Benton Ackrill, of Ft. Lauderdale, passed away on the fourth of July, 2013. He was 92. Dad was born in Pascoag, Rhode Island. As a young adult, he was an enthusiastic "jitterbug". He entered jitterbug contests and shows in Rhode Island and New York City. He participated in a jitterbug exhibition at the New York City World's Fair of 1939 - 1940. He was a 30-year veteran of the US Air Force, with service beginning in World War II. He was a flight engineer on the B-36 and other planes. Later, he was a flight-line maintenance supervisor. He retired as a Chief Master Sergeant. Dad was an avid volleyball player and referee, competing in tournaments throughout the country. Upon retirement, he switched to beach volleyball and was active in the City of Ft. Lauderdale volleyball leagues. Dad was a life-long fan of jazz music. He supported live jazz throughout southern Florida. He was still going to performances earlier this year. He is survived by his wife of 63 yrs, Rita of Ft. Lauderdale; daughter, Nancy and son Victor, both of Ft. Lauderdale; son Anthony of Gainesville, FL; son Peter of Kansas City, MO; and grandson, Thomas J. Ackrill of Atlanta, GA. The family wishes to thank Dad's caregivers, neighbors and friends for all their help. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Clement Church, 2975 N. Andrews Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, July 16th at 1:30 pm.
Published in Sun-Sentinel from July 11 to July 14, 2013