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In Memory

Mel Ackerman

Mel Ackerman
December 1, 1943 - November 8, 2023

Melvin (Mel) R Ackerman passed away in peace at home in Anchorage on November 8 after a full and rich life. He was just shy of his 80th birthday.

Mel was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in December 1943. After graduating high school, he joined the US Navy and served on a destroyer that was deployed as part of the Cuban Missile Crisis. After the Navy, he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors degree in Public Administration and a Masters in Business Administration while working as a Police Officer in Pittsburgh. He moved his family to Anchorage in 1979 to work on “The Slope” at Standard Oil of Ohio and later worked at British Petroleum and Alyeska Pipeline before leaving the oil industry and working at ATU and GCI. Through the years he shifted his focus from security to human resources all with the intent of helping others.

Mel enjoyed fishing for (and occasionally catching) fish, traveling with Joanne in their motorhome and drinking coffee and wine. He loved woodworking, particularly making birdhouses. He was an avid reader of mostly history and historical fiction books and a fan of history. He would visit Costco frequently where he would often find deals to donate to local charities. Most of all he loved his family and loved helping people. He was kind, caring, thoughtful and generous with the people in his life and wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend. He always had a story ready or advice to share.

Mel is survived by his wife of 57 years, Joanne (Sanker), his three children, Doug (Shelly), Ken (Michelle) and Mary Beth (Eric), his 5 grandchildren, Sydney (Seth Eckert), Scott (Roberta), Cory, Alexander (Madeline) and Lucas, and younger siblings Ron (Tomisine), Dee Maloney and Patty Lageman (Ray). He was preceded in death by his parents Melvin and Johanna.

A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church on Dec 1 at 4:00PM with a Rosary preceding at 3:30PM and a reception immediately following.

The family asks that donations be made to Catholic Social Services, Covenant House or the charity of your choice in lieu of flowers.

Published by Anchorage Daily News on 11/19/2023

Published by Legacy Alaska


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11/10/23 08:02 AM #1    

Karen Anderson

Mel and I worked many years as alternates in Fairbanks while on the training team. Mel was such a great person who loved his family very much. He had a great sense of humor and usually ended his comments with Yada Yada Yada. I'll always treasure our years together on the pipeline. Hugs.

11/10/23 04:25 PM #2    

Dave Rees

Ditto to Karen's comments about Mel... not only was Mel a source of good humor, he had a lot of wisdom about dealing with people,a great asset for his work in HR. As a late comer to Alyeska (in the 90's) I learned a lot from Mel about the pipeline organization from hiring to development to training philosophy. In recent years, I've appreciated his continuing work with his community and his passion for helping people. RIP, Mel.

11/11/23 01:28 PM #3    

Larry Blachut

I did not get to spend as much time with Mel as I would have liked but enjoyed working with him when I was part of the wonderful Alyeska training team. 

11/12/23 01:30 PM #4    

Chuck Bean

Ditto to Karen's and Dave's comments. Mel was such a pleasure to work with. He was knowledgeable and was a major contributor to the team. And now as Mel would say. Yada Yada Yada. RiP Mel

11/15/23 03:30 PM #5    

Kenneth Peacock

Mel was a great asset to the Pipeline organization and he assisted me for many years when I was managing the pipeline. Our friendship continued when we retired and we had many breakfasts together. He will be sorely missed and our condolences go out to his wife, Joanne and their family. 
Ken Peacock. 

11/17/23 03:29 PM #6    

Larry Wood

I readily agree: Mel was a wonderful friend and a terrific Alyeska co-worker.  Always a smile and a kind word for me, even though I asked him many pesky questions about a myriad of challenges over our years together.  Great guy whose warm personality and helpful attitude reflected his faith too. Our deep condolences to Mel's family.  

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