Obituary: Allen Lee Ackerman

Beloved husband, father, friend to all


Longtime Claremont resident Allen Ackerman died peacefully Saturday, April 29 at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center with family and friends at his bedside.

Allen, son of Allen and Jeardis Ackerman, was born May 13, 1929 in Compton, California and raised in North Long Beach. He attended Compton High School, Compton Junior College and San Jose State College, where he participated in football, basketball, baseball and ran the high hurdles in track and field. He was a member of the Sheriff’s All Boys Band, playing in the Rose Parade and appearing in two movies during World War II with his trusty clarinet and saxophone.

Mr. Ackerman met his future wife Phyllis Carr while still a student at Compton High. The two were married January 28, 1951. The young couple settled in Compton before moving to Claremont in 1962, where they raised their daughter Terry and two sons, Dennis and Craig.

Mr. Ackerman worked in the beer business for 48 years, eventually rising to Vice President of Van Munching and Co. before retiring after 28 years with Heineken. But his true passion was baseball. He coached at many levels, tutoring many future professional and collegiate athletes, including future MLB star Mark McGwire, whom he instructed in Little League. He also scouted for many years for the Minnesota Twins, California Angels, Oakland A’s and the Detroit Tigers. Mr. Ackerman was also a member of the Elks, a 50-year member of the American Legion Claremont Keith Powell Post 78, and a member of the US Naval Reserve.

Family, friends and neighbors were of upmost importance to Mr. Ackerman. He treasured his time spent on RV trips to jazz festivals with good friends MaryAnn and Bo, his 60 years of family trips to Meeks Bay on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, and the many days, weekends and holidays spent at the mountain resort in Big Bear.

Following the death of Phyllis, Mr. Ackerman married his second wife, Dorothy, in 2010. The couple took many trips, devoting their lives to their combined families, which now totaled six children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Mr. Ackerman enjoyed traveling to his grandchildren’s baseball, soccer and softball games at all levels. He followed high school, college and pro sports, reading the sports page every day. Mr. Ackerman especially enjoyed going to lunch with his high school and college friends.

Mr. Ackerman was preceded in death by his first wife of 55 years, Phyllis, and his son Craig. He is survived by his wife of six years, Dorothy Ackerman, sister MaryAnn, son Dennis Ackerman, grandsons Dominic and Brett Ackerman and their mother Nina Hughes, daughter Terry and husband Bud Smith, granddaughter Stephanie and husband Scott Strachan, great-granddaughter Eleanor Strachan, cousin Linda Robertson, sister-in-law Lenore Carr and many nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to convey a special thank you to the doctors, nurses, medical staff and physical therapists at Pomona Valley Hospital, Pilgrim Place in Claremont and Heritage Park in Upland for their outstanding care. He loved you all. Family would like to send a special note to John and Martha Hernandez for their friendship and love through the years. Mr. Ackerman’s son Craig was right: everyone needs a Martha.

 A celebration of Mr. Ackerman’s life will be held Saturday, May 27 at 11 a.m. at Todd Memorial Chapel in Claremont, 325 N. Indian Hill Blvd., with a reception following at a location to be determined. His cousin, Pastor Luther Martell, will officiate the service.

Because of Mr. Ackerman’s love for baseball and close friendship with former Cal Poly Pomona head baseball coach John Scolinos, in lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Cal Poly Pomona Scolinos Baseball Endowment Fund at


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