Joan Ackley

Joan L. Ackley

St. George

Joan Ackley died on Thursday 23 May, 2013 in St. George, Utah. She is survived by her husband Richard and two children, Steve and Karen, her pet Charlie--possibly the world's fattest cat. Joan grew up in a lively Irish Catholic family that lived and thrived through the Depression. She and her family ended up in Los Angeles where she met her future husband and was married in a memorable military wedding in June 1950. She built her family and served as a model military wife, moving every 2-3 years from one side of the United States, to the other, and overseas, and back again for the next 20 years. When Richard retired from the Navy, she started her own career in earnest and enjoyed many full years as Redlands University administrator finally putting her MBA to use. She culminated her career as a human resource executive for Fleetwood Enterprise, headquartered in Riverside, California. She moved for the last time to St. George, Utah where she and her husband found their golf paradise, built the home of their dreams on the fourth fairway of the Bloomington Country Club golf course. For the past 16 years, she thrived in this family-friendly and welcoming community. She cultivated deep friendships at the Country Club and within the St George community. She loved playing golf. She loved her bridge club. She loved being a Red Hat Lady. She supported many local charities and was especially fond of the annual Secret Santa to ensure needy children could celebrate Christmas with gifts to show she cared. She and her husband shared a joy of cooking and entertaining as a way to celebrate life and friends. She was brilliant at both. She is well loved and will be sorely missed.

Joan's pride and joy was her family. Her husband of 63 years culminated his naval career as the Commander of Submarine Division 31. Subsequently, he earned his PhD, worked as a university professor, retiring for the last time after serving as director of the National Security Studies program at California State University at San Bernardino. Steven graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy, and earned his law degree at New York University. He has a successful career as an oil and commodities trader for major Manhattan companies. Karen graduated from the University of Southern California, and earned two Masters degrees from Georgetown University and the National War College. She has had a successful career working for both the CIA and the Department of State serving in senior intelligence and foreign affairs positions.

Memorial Services will be held Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the Metcalf Mortuary Chapel, 288 West St. George Blvd., St. George, Utah.

In lieu of flowers, please support The Wounded Warrior Project on-line at

Funeral Home

Metcalf Mortuary - St. George
288 West St. George Blvd.  St. George, UT 84770
(435) 673-4221

Published in The Spectrum & Daily News from May 25 to May 26, 2013