AKERMAN, John Lee (Jack), age 95, of Kettering Ohio, joined his heavenly Father on Sunday March 28 2021 at 5:10 am at Kettering Medical Center after suffering heart complications.
First and foremost, Jack loved God and showed his love for God by serving and loving others just as Jesus did. His wife Arlene Catherine (Kemery) of 70 years was his true partner in life. They had a deep and loving relationship. Jack’s devotion to Arlene could be seen every time he looked at her with deep affection and admiration.
Jack was born in Geneva, OH February 25 1926 to the late Harry Tower and Mabel Evelyn (Michel) Akerman. He is survived by his sister Sally Ladner of Conneaut OH. Sally’s husband Harold (Hop) passed away in 2020. We can only imagine the great conversations Jack and Hop are having now about everything sports especially their mutual love for football…Jack a Steelers fan and Hop a Browns fan.
Jack loved his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and niece unconditionally. Jack has two children son Ron and wife Lora and daughter Sandie and husband Jim Grindel. There are three grandchildren and four great grandchildren that held a special place in “Gramps’” life. Granddaughter Angi and husband Tommy Clayton, their children TJ and Carli; Grandson Jon, wife Evelyn, their children Ellis Rose and Ian Rupert; and Grandson Tanner wife Kari. Niece Gayle Avery, husband Bill and their children Allison, husband Richard Wollenhaupt and son Wesley; Michael Avery and wife Heather. Ron’s former wife Mary Means Akerman. Arlene’s student, Doug Fritz is also considered a member of the family. Jack has been his father figure for many years since Doug’s own father passed away.
In January 1944 Jack enlisted in the Army and served during World War II in Europe as part of Patton’s Third Army with the 974 Field Artillery Battalion. While Jack saw some combat, early on his commander recognized his heart to serve people so he was put in charge of running the PX. Jack was a proud American. The bond that began in Europe with his Battalion members continued for many years with their last reunion in 2016.
Back from the war Jack attended Miami University Oxford OH graduating 1949 and a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He was a class agent for the class of ’49; a member of the Red and White Club and a part of the Hughes Society Executive Committee for 11 years. No matter what the weather you could find Jack sitting in the stands cheering on his beloved Miami U football team. He was overjoyed when the Redhawks won the 2019 MAC Championship.
Jack’s career was in the wholesale hardware industry both in sales and as a merchandising manager. He served his customers from the heart and became great friends with many of them. He retired from ServicStar/TruServ in 1999 at 73 long after the “normal” time to retire.
Moving to Kettering in 1963 Jack and his wife Arlene joined Christ United Methodist Church. During his 58 years at the church, he has served on many committees and was still active as an usher. He was always devoted to his faith and to loving God. Jack served as a board member on the Interfaith Forum of Dayton.
Jack was active in community organizations including the board of Kettering Clean Care; past president and board member of the Presidents Club of Dayton; member of the City of Kettering’s Board of Community Relations, during that time the Kettering-Oakwood MLK Breakfast began. In 2016 Jack and Arlene served as the Grand Marshals for Kettering Holiday at Home.
Much of Jack’s time was devoted to Optimist International Dor-Wood Optimist Club which he joined in 1969 making him the oldest active member. Optimist International’s focus is serving youth. Anytime there was an activity with youth, Jack wanted to be there. On Monday before he passed he was a part of the Tri-Star Basketball event. He was active in JOI, the student version of Optimist serving elementary, middle, high school and college students forming clubs and mentoring them. Being with the students brought him joy while participating in activities from service projects to line dancing. The pins on his jacket shows he was very active and served in various ways including President of the Club; Lt. Governor of the state organization and other committees. Jack earned the highest level of Distinction in 2018.
Jack enjoyed golfing, watching Nascar, football and basketball. Crossword, Sudoku, word puzzles and reading were favorite past time activities. Fun memories were made playing games especially dominos. In his younger days, Jack and his son Ron raced their red, white, and blue 1970 AMC Javelin on the GDAC course and they were both champions. Jack was instrumental in the ServicStar sponsorship of Chip Ganassi’s Indycar.
Jack will be greatly missed by his family, friends and all those that came in contact with him. A truly humble, wonderful and loving man has left us for now-until we meet again.
You are invited to join the family at the Celebration of Life Service on Saturday, April 10 at 11:00 am at Christ United Methodist Church 3440 Shroyer Road in Kettering OH. Please visit Jack Akerman Celebration of Life Facebook page to RSVP for the luncheon following the service and leave condolences. Burial in David’s Cemetery.
Please NO flowers. You may donate to: Christ United Methodist Church 3440 Shroyer Road, Kettering OH 45429 with “Akerman” in the memo line OR Dor-Wood Optimist Club PO Box 292266 Kettering OH 45459 with “Akerman” in the memo line OR the Jack & Arlene Akerman Scholarship Fund for Farmer School of Business Miami University 725 East Chestnut Street, Oxford OH 45056 with “Akerman Scholarship” in memo line.
The family would like to thank the entire CCU and ER staff at Kettering Medical Center for their loving care of Jack in his final hours especially his primary nurses Madi, Sadie and Trish.