LANCASTER, Pa. — William D. Ackerson, 78, of Homestead Village (Retirement Home), Lancaster, Pa., died Saturday, June 26, 2004, at home.
Born in Hancock, he was the son of the late Garret and Mae Wormuth Ackerson.
He was married 56 years in October to Alice Hempstead Ackerson.
William was a retired social studies teacher and guidance counselor from Franklin Central School. He previously taught in the Windsor, Hancock and Oneonta school districts.
A United States Army veteran of World War II, he served as a staff sergeant on a bomber crew in the 8th Air Force. Shot down during his mission in 1944, he was a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft. 4 and marched in the "Black March Across Germany" in the winter of 1945. He was awarded the Air Medal, a Purple Heart and the Prisoner of War Medal. He was a life member of Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Hartwick College in Oneonta and master's degrees from Syracuse University and the State University College at Oneonta.
In Lancaster, William was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church, where he was a Eucharist minister. He also served as a lay assistant at St. James' Episcopal Church, Oneonta, for three-and-a-half years. During this time he was the chaplain at Fox Hospital Nursing Home where he taught a Bible study class.
Active in Boy Scouts of America for 31 years, he served on the executive board of the Otschodela Council, Oneonta, and Penn Dutch Council, Lancaster, Pa. He was a former Scoutmaster of Troop 30, Oneonta, and former Wood Badge counselor. He was on the staff of World Jamboree Number 13 in Japan and also the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Fort AP Hill, Va. He was also at one time on the staffs of the Otshodela Council and Crumhorn Mountain Boy Scout Camp in Milford.
Among his Boy Scouting awards, he received the Silver Beaver, St. George Medal, James E. West Fellow and Vigil Member Order of the Arrow.
Surviving, in addition to his wife, are two sons, G. Scott of North Syracuse and William D. Ackerson of Williamstown, Mass.; a daughter, Mary E. Smith of Lancaster, Pa.; his brother, Allan Ackerson of Middletown; grandsons, Eric C. and Joel P. Ackerson and Daniel Smith; granddaughter, Laura Smith, and great-granddaughter, Jala K. Ackerson.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 8, at Bashore Scout Reservation, 160 Moonshine Rd., Jonestown, Pa.
Interment will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4, at the Hancock Cemetery, Hancock. Relatives and friends are invited to attend either service.
Kindly omit flowers. Memorial donations may be made to St. John's Episcopal Church, 321 West Chestnut St., Lancaster, PA 17603, or the Pennsylvania Dutch Council, Boy Scouts of America, 630 Janet Ave., Lancaster, PA 17601.