Charles T. Ackerman, age 83, died of cancer on November 6, 2021, after more than a twenty-year battle. His courage, strength, and faith sustained him through those many years. He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Anne Manning.
Charles was born in North Carolina to Cecil and Elizabeth Ackerman and was the oldest of eight children. He is survived by his siblings R.C. and Christy Ackerman, Margie Tice, Ken and Rita Ackerman, Cedy and Larry Pool, Joan Ackerman, Rose and Steve Honeycutt, and he was predeceased by Julian Ackerman. He is also survived by his Aunt Mollie Bowers and many nieces and nephews.
His daughter Marti was born to his first wife, Louise Campbell Marsh. While serving in Vietnam,Charles adopted four Vietnamese children, Malia, Chau, Chanh, and Zip. After he and Anne married, they adopted three siblings, two of whom survive, Cindy and Herb. There are two grandchildren, Catherine and Justin. He loved spending time with family and friends and visited with them whenever possible. His generous, loving heart will be dearly missed.
His experience at Morvan (North Carolina) High School gave him the boost and confidence he needed to attend NC State University, and graduate from the US Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree, Penn State with a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering, and Middle Tennessee State University where he received a Masters of Public Administration.
Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, Charles was commissioned in the Air Force. His initial assignment was in New Mexico on Ballistic Missile Defense and related systems. He then volunteered and served in Vietnam for 18 months where he analyzed enemy movements and the effectiveness of US operations. Charles’ superb analytic skills led him to a wide ranging career at the highest levels of the Air Force and Government; including a special assignment to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency where he worked on analyses supporting US-Soviet negotiations on Strategic Arms limitation. His subsequent Air Force assignments were largely in financial organizations and took him to the Pentagon, Tennessee and Andrews Air Force Base in Budget and Comptroller positions.These assignments included weapon systems analysis, and evaluation of financial management research and development. He ended his Air Force career in 1984 as a Colonel at the Pentagon, engaged in developing five year financial plans for the development and production of new Air Force systems. He received numerous medals including the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Following retirement, Charles worked at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) where he created and mentored a team which provided ongoing analyses to Test and Evaluation Centers around the country. Later, his work continued as a consultant to the Department of Defense (DOD). He retired in early 2021. Many colleagues shared that his mentorship and friendship were key ingredients in their personal and professional growth. Charles truly loved his work and most especially loved his friends at IDA and DOD.
In his 83 years, Charles was a school bus driver, a basketball player at NC State, an encyclopedia salesman, and a student , husband and father. He served his Country as an Air Force officer and Defense contractor. But in the end, Charles was a good friend to all. We will miss him.
The wake will be at Witzke’s Family Funeral Home, 4112 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City, from 3-7pm on Sunday, November 14, 2021. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church at 10431 Twin Rivers Road, Columbia, MD at noon on November 15th. The Mass may be viewed HERE. There will be a celebration of Charles’ life immediately following, at the Clubhouse of the Enclave at Ellicott Hills, at 3000 Ellicott Hills Blvd. in Ellicott City.
Contributions in Charles’ memory may be made to Covenant House, Disabled American Veterans, the Salvation Army, or the charity of your choice.
To plant a tree in memory of Charles Thomas Ackerman, please click here.