WHITEFISH — Paul Eugene Ackerman passed away Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, while in the North Valley Hospital in Whitefish. He had been living in Columbia Falls for the past five years, with his daughter Janelle. Paul was born Sept. 12, 1939, in Webster, South Dakota, to Adelbert Paul and Laura Mae Ackerman. Paul spent his early years in Watertown, South Dakota, until he was 15 years old. The family then moved to Montana and Wyoming, where his dad, Adelbert (Bud) Ackerman, worked power line construction.
In 1959, Paul joined the United States Army. He proudly served our country for three years in Germany, as a lineman, during The Berlin Wall Crisis. After being honorably discharged from the United States Army, Paul returned to line construction, working for Bud Ackerman and Son. Paul married Martha Jeanne Washington in January 1964. To this union two children were born, Janelle Jeanne, and Adelbert (Del). Both children were born in 1965, Janelle on March 1, and Del on Dec. 14. Paul worked for Range Telephone in the Broadus area, and Blackfoot Telephone in the Missoula area. Unfortunately, Paul and Martha were later divorced.
In 1975, Paul married Barbra Christensen in Coeur d’Alene. They later moved to California, where Paul was foreman for Burnup and Simms. In 1993, Paul returned to Broadus in order to care for his ailing mother, Laura Mae Ackerman, who sadly passed away in 2001. With the intent to retire, Paul then moved to Philipsburg. Retirement did not set well with Paul, and he soon found himself working independently in the timber industry. An avenue that was very successful, and which he greatly enjoyed.
Of all the things to say about Paul, the truest may be this; he made people smile. Invariably, they had a story that involved him laughing, telling stories and making people feel good. Paul was an all-around nice man, loved people, had a charismatic personality, a great sense of humor, and a very strong work ethic. Those who had the pleasure of knowing him as a man knew that he was a kind, decent, generous soul who made others' lives better. Throughout his 77 years, Paul rarely failed to impress others with his charisma, his talent, and his heart. He had a gregarious personality, a generous wit, and enjoyed hunting, fishing and the out-of-doors. Paul loved dogs and animals, and while living in Webster, South Dakota, he raised cattle which he enjoyed immensely.
Paul and Barbra were married for 37 years until the time of Barb’s death on Sept. 16, 2012. A devoted husband, he cared for her all through her illness.
Paul loved his family deeply and he will be missed greatly. Survivors include Paul’s daughter Janelle Ackerman of Columbia Falls, his son Adelbert Ackerman of Philipsburg, a sister Ardi and her husband Willis Bartholomay of Terry, their children Lissa of Miles City and their son Ross, and his family of Denver, Colorado. Also, numerous cousins, aunts and uncles. Paul was preceded in death by both parents.
Funeral services will be at Saint Paul’s Presbyterian Church Saturday, Sept. 16, at 10 a.m. Visitation will be held an hour before service. Interment will follow at the Philipsburg Cemetery. The family will receive relatives and friends at a reception held at Saint Paul’s.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service is entrusted with Paul’s funeral arrangements. You may pay your condolences at longfellowfinneganriddle.com.