Arthur Franklin Ackerman, Jr., 81, Battlefield, Mo., died peacefully in his home with family by his side while in hospice care for cancer on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013.
Art was born on his family farm near Marionville, Mo., on Dec. 18, 1931, to Josephine Belle (Stanley) Ackerman and Arthur Franklin Ackerman. He grew up on farms near Marionville and graduated from Marionville High School in 1950.
He is survived by his sister Elizabeth (Betty) Williams and was preceded in death by his brothers; Ralph, Stanley, Clyde, Max and Gary.
He married Annita Reser on April 26, 1953, in Crane, Mo., at the Church of God, where he accepted Jesus as his Savior in 1952.
Art's greatest source of earthly joy was his wife of 60 years, 5 months, and 2 days, Annita.
He loved and enjoyed children; Brenda, married to Eddie Lehr; Melinda, married to Randy Wright; Lucinda, married to Tracy Guppy; and Timothy.
His grandchildren: Nathan Lehr, married to Cheyenne; Gabrielle Lehr Crisp, married to Jeff; Kim Guppy Turpen Christensen, married to Tyler; Lacy Wright Elet, married to Josh; David Wright, married to Hannah; Michelle Guppy Ivey; Justin Wright; Claire Ackerman; and Meredith Ackerman. His great-grandchildren: Kael and Mareika Turpen, Tatum Christensen and Tyler Christensen, Jr; Alyssa, Kaiden, Ethan and Trinity Ivey; Isaac and Alexander Lehr; and Elaina and Vivienne Elet.
Previously to Battlefield, Art lived in Shell Knob, Mo., and spent most of his adult life in Granby. Art was ordained as a deacon while he was a member of the First Baptist Church in Granby. He was also active at First Baptist Church in Shell Knob and First Baptist Church in Battlefield.
Art enjoyed church life as well as staying active and meeting friends for coffee and conversation at the Chesterfield Family Center. Art served in the Missouri Army National Guard and was honorably discharged in 1954.
He received special recognition in 1967 for his role in developing a tool used for building Apollo series rocket engines at Rocketdyne, a contractor for NASA's space program. Art's main vocation was aviation technician; long-term workplaces included Rocketdyne in Neosho. He served as transportation manager for East Newton public schools, and Monett public schools.
A funeral service was held Friday, Oct. 4, at the First Baptist Church of Battlefield. Burial with full military honors followed at Marionville I.O.O.F. Cemetery. Pastor Ray Smith and Reverend Al Cobb lead the service. Pallbearers were Fritz Torbet (Art's cousin), Ralph Tuggle, (friend), Nathan Lehr, Josh Elet, David Wright, and Justin Wright (grandsons).
In lieu of flowers, donations were asked for the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, as a close relative of Art's is a missionary.
Arrangements were under the direction of Walnut Funeral Home, Springfield.