Richard Holmes Ackley, 85, passed away in Grand Junction, CO on Friday, June 15, 2012 after an extended illness.
Dick , the youngest of six children, was born September 7, 1926 at home in Fairfield, ME. He graduated high school at sixteen, studied at University of Maine, and received his BS in engineering at Worchester Tech by 19. He was a veteran in WWII. He continued his education getting his masters in engineering from Harvard, his MBA and JD in law from Northeastern University where he taught business classes years later. He began his career as an engineer at NASA labs, then moved back to Massachusetts where he met his wife of 56 years, Joan, and began his 30 year career at Raytheon Co. He worked there as an engineer and program manager later relocating to Santa Barbara CA. He loved the fabulous weather and outdoor living in Santa Barbara, including his yard full of fruit trees.
Dick was always an athlete playing baseball and basketball in high school and college. He was a life long Red Sox fan. Later in life, he took up golf and tennis. He taught all of his children to play tennis. He was a tough competitor and always enjoyed playing in tournaments with his friends, his wife, and children.
He spent a lot of time coaching and watching his children and grandchildren compete in sports and took great pride in all of their successes.
His greatest joy came from his family. He was a wonderful son, husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He had a quick wit, big smile, and the ability to cheer anyone up. He was a man full of honor and integrity. He is survived by his wife, Joan Ackley, his children, Dr. Stuart (Andrea) Ackley of Grand Junction, CO, Alice (Bob) Cherry of McLean, VA, Dr. Scott (Nancy) Ackley of Terre Haute, IN, 8 Grandchildren, Krista (Phil), Robby (Lizz), Kaitlin, Amanda, Rebecca, Cassandra, Brooke, Laney, and two great grandchildren, Patrick, and Alice Finley.
He was a wonderful man with a heart of gold who will be missed and never forgotten by all who knew him.
His funeral will be held in Santa Barbara, CA on July 6th 2012. Condolences may be left for the family at www.MartinMortuary.com.