May 5, 2022
Karen March Ackerman was born October 9, 1945 in York, Pennsylvania to Colonel Richard L. March and Ruth Miller March. She lived her early years in a number of different areas as her father was in the Air Force.
In the mid 1950s, the family moved to Rapid City, South Dakota, where Colonel March was stationed. Karen was able to stay in Rapid City from fourth grade through college as her father was promoted, but always at Ellsworth Air Force Base.
Karen graduated from Rapid City Central High School in 1963 and attended the University of Wyoming, where she earned a bachelors degree in international relations in 1967. Soon after graduation, she was employed by TransWorld Airlines as a stewardess and flew both domestic and international routes for three years.
In 1969, Karen renewed her relationship with an old college boyfriend, Bill Ackerman, and the two were married on October 24, 1970 in York, Pennsylvania. Bill was a PhD student at Ohio State University and had been awarded the Fulbright Scholarship for doctoral dissertation research in Argentina.
Karen then added South America to the many world places she had visited while flying. She lived in San Bernardino, California and earned a masters degree in early childhood education at California State University. She taught in San Bernardino for several years.
In 1980, Karen and Bill moved to Upton, Wyoming, where Karen made her permanent home. Karen did some substitute teaching in Upton before becoming the managing partner of ADI Insurance, a job she held at her passing.
Karen became active in the Upton community and was a member of the Chamber of Commerce. She was also an avid dog lover and soon became involved as a leader of the Weston County 4-H dog obedience training program.
Karen was still actively involved with 4-H and would also do dog obedience training for anyone needing help and always free of charge. She was kept busy with her own dogs and was involved with coursing and showing her Borzoi (Russian Wolfhounds).
Karen won a number of national titles for her racing dogs and finished several AKC show champions. Her success led to her being elected a Regional Governor for the Borzoi Club of America, where she represented the State of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.
Karen also served on the Upton Senior Housing Board and the Weston County Health Services Foundation Board. Her dog activities led her to being the editor of Hares and Hounds, a nationally-circulated publication on coursing hounds. At one time, Karen worked closely with Karla Ludemann to provide Karla’s students with real world experience in publishing.
Karen also worked to help prepare tour guides for historic places in the Upton area, including Upton businesses. She was also recognized for her community involvement by being selected as Upton’s Citizen of the Year in 2007.
Karen died on April 15, 2022 as the result of the onset of a very aggressive and rare form of bone cancer. She was preceded in death by her father, Colonel Richard L. March, USAF, her mother Ruth and her brother Richard. She is survived by her husband Bill Ackerman, a step-brother Jeff Stumpf and three cousins, all of Pennsylvania, a special niece Jessica Joyner of Texas and eight dogs.
A memorial to benefit the Books for Brains Program has been established. Donations may be sent to the Karen Ackerman Memorial, in care of the FirsTier Bank in Upton.