Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Richard "Dick" Ackerman

November 21, 1949 - August 28, 2022
Lawton, MI



Friday, September 2, 2022
11:00 AM EDT
Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home
60900 Michigan 40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-3870

The service will be followed by a reception in the Life Story Center.

Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Centrica Care Navigators
7100 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 345-0273
Driving Directions
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


As his family and friends can surely attest, Dick Ackerman truly understood the secret to a life well lived. He found contentment on his homestead, in nature and in the simple things. A loving brother and uncle, Dick was so proud to watch his family tree grow to include so many members. Deeply loved, Dick will be forever missed by those who knew him best.

With the end of WWII in 1945, America was making the shift to being a nation at peace once again. Rationing had fallen by the wayside, and with the return of countless servicemen and women the baby boom was underway. It was during this eventful time that John and Nettie (Thomas) Ackerman were pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named Richard on November 21, 1949, in Pontiac, Michigan (sharing a birthday with his father).

Growing up, Dick was a typical young man of his generation in many ways. He was raised in the family home in Birmingham, Michigan, as the youngest of three boys. Dick’s father supported the family by working as a stockbroker while his mother remained close to home, devoting herself to raising her children while volunteering at their school and Beaumont Hospital as well. Throughout his childhood, he grew to be very close to his older brothers, Jack and Paul. Dick was a HAM radio operator from a young age, and he went on to talk to people on every continent using his handle W8TE. Jack and Paul liked cars, so Dick naturally found a passion for cars too.

While pursuing his education, Dick attended local schools and graduated from Brother Rice High School in 1968. He went on to attend Eastern Michigan University, then earned his business degree from Western Michigan University. Dick was a very bright student who excelled in his studies. He was naturally skilled with handling finances, and he had a very scientific and analytical mind.

Though Dick lived in the Paw Paw area for a time, he always liked the rural area better. He was able to live on 35 acres in Lawton on a wooded lot and loved every second of it. Over the years, Dick installed tall radio towers on his property to increase his available distance. He was an expert with HAM radio, knew Morse Code, and held the highest certification. Dick treasured time spent with his best friends, Dave and Maureen Ouvery.

It was Dick’s interest in horticulture that led to his introduction to the love of his life, Katie Huston. Dick met Katie at a party in Lawton in 1990. They hit it off right away as Dick was talking about his trumpet vines, which was music to Katie’s ears. This marked the beginning of a relationship that spanned over 20 years. Katie and Dick were true soul mates, and she was the princess in the ivory tower while he was her knight in shining armor. When Katie died unexpectedly on December 26, 2011, Dick was devastated and never fully got over her loss.

Never one to sit still for long, Dick pursued many hobbies to stay busy in his free time. He loved watching birds and placed hummingbird feeders all over the yard. Dick collected a variety of muscle cars from the 60’s – 70’s. Though he wasn’t very mechanical with the cars, he liked to shine them up. Dick experimented some in the kitchen and had a fond palate for lobster and steak. He enjoyed walking his property, listening to the peace and quiet, while drinking a small bottle of coke. He was an avid horticulturist, growing many types of “plants”. Dick was well read and enjoyed a variety of magazines. He liked to watch TV (without the sound) especially animal shows and Detroit sports teams. Dick listened to classic rock music and had an extensive collection of vinyl records. He was a true homebody and preferred to live a quieter, calmer life. Dick and Katie loved their dogs and had many black labs over the years, including Eli, his current yellow lab. He was known to always be on time for everything, no matter what it was. Dick was always very conscious of his health, however, in the last few years, he began to struggle with COPD.

When reflecting on the life of Richard Ackerman, it is easy to see both his unwavering strength and his unconditional love for Katie and his family. His knowledge of investments and the stock market allowed him to be a homebody and was able to focus on his relationship with Katie, his dogs, and his HAM radio. Though he will be dearly missed, Dick leaves behind a priceless legacy that his loved ones will be proud to carry on in his footsteps.

Richard “Dick,” Ackerman, at the age of 72, died peacefully on August 28, 2022, at his home. Dick was preceded in death by his long-time companion, Katie Huston in 2011. Surviving are 2 brothers: Jack (Carol) Ackerman and Paul (Cynthia) Ackerman; nieces and nephews: Mark (Caron), Nicole (Greg), Dawn (Chris), Chad (Marcie), Kristie (Colen) and Kimberly; great nieces and nephews: Avery, Jack, Matthew, Mariah, Jack, Gracie, Lexie, Nick, and Luke and his best friends: Dave and Maureen Ouvery. Cremation has taken place. A Life Story Service will be held Friday (SEPT 2) 11AM at the Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Homes, 60900 M-40, Paw Paw, 49079 (269) 657-3870 followed by a reception in the Life Story Center. Private burial will take place at Spruce Presbyterian Church, Spruce, MI. Visit Dick’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Centrica Care Navigators.