Nature 28


Gary Allan Ackerman

May 14, 1946 ~ August 2, 2019 (age 73)

Gary Allan Ackerman, 73, went to be with the Lord on August 2, 2019 in comfort care services at Ascension St. Clare’s Hospital in Weston, surrounded by his loving family.

Gary was born on May 14, 1946 to John and Arlene Ackerman. He was married to his soul mate, Colleen (Dehnel) Ackerman, on July 29, 1989. They had just celebrated their 30 year wedding anniversary.  

Gary retired from GTE/Verizon where he served as union president. Following his retirement, Gary worked seasonally for the Kronenwetter Parks department. He enjoyed spending time with family, looked forward to hunting and fishing, cheering on the Packers and Brewers and always helping others. He was also a longtime fan of Johnny Cash. Gary was a strong, selfless, family man who loved the Lord above all. 

Gary is preceded in death by his parents, John and Arlene Ackerman, his father and mother-in-law Edwin and Frances “Peetsie” Dehnel, his brothers-in-law Bill Bishop and Richard Dehnel, and his dear grandson, Finley Pensinger. 

Gary is survived by his wife, Colleen Ackerman, of Kronenwetter, his children, Jim (Laura) Ackerman of Washington, Lee (Rhonda) Ackerman of Marshfield, Susan (Rob) James of Marshfield, Sara (Brian) Pensinger of Weston, and Brad (Alyssa) Stone of Wausau, his grandchildren, Amethyst, Jayden, Sophie, Lilly, Logan, Lennon, Penelope, and Ruby, his sister, Gayle Bishop of Antigo, his nephew, Bryan (Tess) Brooks of Madison, and his brother and sister-in-law John (Kim) Dehnel of Wild Rose. 

There will be a visitation on Friday, August 9, 2019 from 9 to 11 am at the Church of St. Anne in Wausau, WI. A funeral Mass will be held at 11 am with a meal to follow.

The family wants to thank the two heroic bystanders that immediately performed effective CPR, ensuring Gary’s family could all be together over the following days with him to see his fight and then to say their goodbyes. A big thank you also goes out to the EMTs who were relentless in their efforts and finally the medical staff at Ascension St. Clare’s Hospital for always giving their best, showing incredible compassion, and providing the best care.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Avenue, Wausau is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at



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