"Bob" Jack Ackerman, Sr., 84, passed away peacefully at the Tidewell Bradenton Hospice House on Oct. 11, 2013.
He was born in Ft. Madison, Iowa, on May 13, 1929, to Velma Mellinger and Jack Ackerman.
Bob's passions were basketball, raising racing pigeons since he was 10 years old, training dogs and horses. He won many trophies competing in western horse shows.
He raised and trained 65 birds to race up to 500 miles and won numerous awards while competing in the American Racing Pigeon Union.
He coached women's basketball, volleyball and softball. Bob was the winning coach for Spoon River College 1988 women's basketball. He was interviewed by Joe Ginger, local TV newsman and close friend, numerous times. In 1990, he received a patent for a basketball rebounder he invented. He was 2X National Free Throw champion by sinking 396 consecutive baskets.
At 57, Bob was All American Long Jump in the 12th Annual Senior Olympics in Sanford, Fla., capturing the decathlon title, five gold, two silver and one bronze medal, receiving an invitation to compete in Russia for the United States. He also won top position in 12 events at the World's Veterans Games in Oregon.
He retired from International Harvester in Canton. In 2001, the Ackermans moved to Bradenton, Fla.
Bob is survived by his wife of 61 years, Colleen Ackerman; his son, Bob Jack Ackerman, Jr. (Ann) of Illinois; his daughter, Tonya Pracht (Roger) of California; and four grandchildren, Shauna Reed of California, Terra Pracht and Nick Ackerman of Hawaii and Bob Jack Ackerman III of Illinois.
Bob was preceded by his daughter, Tina Reid, and his four sisters, Lorraine Reed, GeorgiAnna Bobinott, Virginia Ackerman and his twin sister Betty Sims.
The family is grateful to Tidewell Bradenton Hospice House for the wonderful care Bob and his family received. His family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials in Bob's memory may be made to Tidewell Bradenton Hospice House, 2504 34th Ave. W, Bradenton, FL 34205.