Cover photo for Bettylou Ackerson's Obituary
Bettylou Ackerson Profile Photo

Bettylou Ackerson

June 29, 1941 — November 18, 2023

On November 18, 2023, after a period of declining health, Bettylou “Betty” Ackerson, went home to be with the Lord.

Born on June 29, 1941, in Paterson NJ, she is predeceased by her parents, Donald and Betty Bourhill, as well as her sister, Carole Shadle.

Bettylou graduated from Belleview High School (NJ) in 1958 at the age of 16, having skipped two grades. She worked at the Newark Evening News, as a teller at 1st National Bank of Butler, and at Chemway Pharmaceuticals as well as Kearfott Corporation doing accounting.

On June 22, 1962, she married Allen E. Ackerson, who also predeceased her in 2023 shortly after celebrating 60 years of marriage. In 1969, they started the Ackerson Pump Company in New Jersey, which they ran together for 27 years until retiring in 1996, when they moved to Anguilla, British West Indies, basking in the sun for 5 years. 

Betty cofounded the Franklin, NJ chapter of the Friends of the Library. She volunteered in many capacities in her children’s schools, including running the Booster Club at Wallkill Valley Regional High School (NJ) for several years with Allen, serving lunches and manning the library at Sussex Christian School, and chaperoning numerous field trips. She also hosted several exchange students in the family home. Betty also manned the guest help desk at Cary Medical Center (ME) for several years.

She is survived by her two daughters, Susan Keeter and husband Ed of Erie, PA, and Tracey Ackerson Westin and husband Ken of Woodland, ME, two grandsons, T.J. Guadagno of Denver CO, and Matthew Brown of Connor Township, ME. Her great-granddaughter Aiyanna Rossignol-Brown, who was the light of her life. Additional surviving family members include sister-in-law Nancy McKenna of Vernon, NJ, nephews Robert McKenna and wife Valerie of Sparta, NJ and Ryan McKenna of Vernon, NJ, and two nieces, Debbie Ross of Pequannock, NJ, and Lori Liberty of Virginia.

The family extends heartfelt thanks to the staff of Maine Veterans Home of Caribou, for their exceptional care for Betty. They also thank Dr. Caleb Swanberg and Amy Edgecomb for their years of service and care. The family deeply thanks Tonya Sherwood, whom they’ve grafted into the family tree for her four years of dedicated, outstanding care for both Betty and Allen.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Betty’s honor to Maine Veterans’ Home – Caribou, or to Sparrowbush United Methodist Church (PO Box 596, Sparrowbush NY 12780) or a charity dear to the giver’s heart.

A private Celebration of Life and burial will be held in the spring
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bettylou Ackerson, please visit our flower store.

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