Jun. 28, 1921 Withrow Douglas County Washington, USA
Jul. 16, 2007 Yakima Yakima County Washington, USA
Wilma "Billie" D. Ackerman 1921-2007
Keith & Keith Funeral Home
YAKIMA - As the sun rose on Monday morning, her Heavenly Father commended the soul home of His good and faithful servant, Billie Ackerman.
The third of seven daughters, she was born to, Frederick and Florence (Campbell) Stannard on June 28, 1921 in Withrow Washington. Named after her grandfather William, Wilma was soon given the name Billie, which was what she felt most comfortable with. At the age of two the family moved to Kewa, Washington where she grew up on "the ranch", which was a source of many stories shared with her children. She attended school at Wilmot Creek, a single room school her dad helped build, through the eighth grade. Billie worked at the Colville Hospital and for the Civil Service in Eugene, Oregon before returning to the Spokane Fairchild Airbase in 1943.
In 1945 Billie entered the WAC Corps, and began her basic training at Ft. Oglethorpe in Georgia and attained a rank of T-4. Trained as a Surgical Technician, PVT Stannard was assigned to Madigan General Hospital at Fort Lewis. It was there that she cared for a young soldier named Myrlin Ackerman. For him it was love at first sight, and they were married on August 17, 1946 in Cle Elum Washington.
The couple moved to Yakima in 1947 when Myrlin was offered his own service station. Billie raised the children at home while he worked long hours. It was a nightly event to get in the car and take dinner down to dad in the big blue roaster. She made sure the kids got to their sport practices and dance lessons, and as the business grew to include car and truck rentals, she frequently shuttled cars, covered a reservation at the airport, and held dinners to the late hours of the evening. She loved to bake. Her apple pie, lasagna, and banana bread could never be matched.
We watched and learned as mom selflessly took care of others. The elderly couple next door, her father-in-law as his health deteriorated, and dad after he suffered his heart attack and ensuing heart-related issues. They demonstrated to all the true meaning of marriage vows.
Billie loved music and singing gave her great joy. She was a member of both St. Paul's Cathedral and Holy Family choirs. She enjoyed participating with the Bel Canto Choral Society as well. A member of the St. Girard Guild, she volunteered in the gift shop at Providence Medical Center. She served as a Eucharistic Minister and sang in the Resurrection Choir for Holy Family. When a stroke suffered in 1999 took away her ability to speak, she was still able to sing those songs that were part of her life.
She was preceded in death by Myrlin, her husband of 58 years, her parents, and sisters, Letha, Aileen, Jeanne, Mildred, and Mary Lou.
She is survived by her children, Paul (Pegi) of Yakima, and children, Tami, Matt, Will and Dee; daughter Donna (Mike) Perrault of Yakima, and sons, Ryan, Chris, and Todd; son Bradley of Yakima; son Jerry (Nancy) and daughter Katie all of Auburn; and son Michael of Yakima; one sister Dixie Lee (Hank) Davis of Federal Way; sister-in-law Marguerite Murphy of Spokane; and brother-in-law Bernie (Dorothy) Ackerman of Bothell. Billie had eight great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Words cannot express the deep gratitude our family feels to the administrators, nurses, and caregivers past and present at Summitview Healthcare Center. For eight and one-half years you loved our mother and treated her with dignity and respect. For those of you who also knew our dad, you know the joy we feel that they are together again for eternity.
A rosary service will be held on Friday, July 20, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. at Keith and Keith Funeral Home. A mass to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, July 21, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church with burial to follow at Calvary Cemetery with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, please have a mass said for her, or send a donation to Catholic Charities in care of the Yakima Catholic Diocese.