Margo Lee Akerman
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Margo Lee Akerman

Knoxville - Margo Lee Akerman was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1947, the daughter of James Lloyd McMaster Jr and Doris Stumpfmaier McMaster. She was a Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board graduate of the University of Nebraska, where she served as president of her sorority, Chi Omega.

Upon graduation, she was accepted into US Navy Officer Candidate School and Defense Information School, then served at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and Naval Air Test Center as an editor and writer. She wrote pieces published in Maryland magazine and National Geographic. She touched history when assigned to work for Admiral Hank Miller, the man who, in WWII, taught the Doolittle raiders to fly off aircraft carriers.

After graduate school she served as an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Illinois and later as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee. Her teaching emphasis was on accuracy in print media. With her husband and children she bought and renovated a 100 yr old, 7000 sq ft Victorian house on the edge of the UTK campus, turning it into a successful bed and breakfast inn, at the same time winning local and national renovation awards.

In the '80's the genetic Polycystic Kidney Disease appeared in Margo, changing the trajectory of Margo and her family. Leaving the inn in good hands, the family scratched an itch and went to live and work in Australia for a year, visiting many countries on the way and on the way home. In her post PKD and transplant years, she worked tirelessly for organ transplantation through serving many years with United Network for Organ Sharing including a stint as Vice President for Patient and Donor Affairs. Regionally she performed as a puppet named Michael who humorously informed young audiences about the value of transplantation.

She was a member of many public service organizations including the Knox County Library Board, the Knox County Library Book and Author Dinner, the Fort Sanders Neighborhood Association, Friends of the University of Tennessee Garden Tour Committee, Cherokee Garden Club, University of Tennessee Faculty Women's Club, Kids on the Block, and first woman member of the Irving Club, Knoxville's oldest book group. She directed choirs, provided meals and hospitality, and served as an Elder at Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church during her 44 years of membership.

Of many achievements in a full life, she was proudest of her close and loving family, husband of 50 years Alfred, children Dori (husband Ian Stiefel) and Adan (wife Jennifer Akerman), grandchildren Mairen (Dori and Ian) and Fox Luca (Adan and Jennifer), and sister, Marla Jill McMaster of Kingston.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the PKD foundation,

PO Box 871847, Kansas City, MO 64187 or Joy of Music, 1209 Euclid Avenue, Knoxville, Tn 37921.

Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel is honored to be serving the Akerman family.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from May 24 to May 26, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel
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4 entries
June 8, 2020
When we landed in Australia 35 years ago, Margo, having arrived only a month before, graciously served as our hostess and indispensable guide. Later, in the middle of the night, she took a cab to our apartment, holding the cab for us to rush to the hospital to deliver our third-born with just an hour to spare! Margo was a wonderful friend to us and so many others.
Bev and Dave Klick
May 31, 2020
Grove of 35 Memorial Trees
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Leonore Stiefel
May 26, 2020
A great person and friend.
Mitch Goldman
May 25, 2020
I both mourn and celebrate with all of you. Margo was a true friend and mentor to so many, including me.
In 1996 I wrote on the dedication page of my master's thesis, I dedicate my thesis to Margo Akerman for providing such a wonderful role model to all who view our program. She is a positive witness to the responsibility to and appreciation of the silent heroes - the givers of the gifts of life.'
Becky Ferguson
Becky Ferguson
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