James Eric Ackerman, Jim or Jimmy to his family and friends, passed away Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in the emergency room of Pullman Regional Hospital with his sister and father by his side. Jim had reached the mature age of 55 even though he was considered the “baby” of the family.
Jim was born Sept. 23, 1965, to Lillian and Bob Ackerman and was a lifelong resident of Pullman. He suffered the effects of cerebral palsy at birth which limited his physical and mental development. Through the nurturing efforts of his mother, he overcame many of his physical limitations and developed verbal skills that enabled him to interact successfully with others. He was a special education student in the Pullman school system, graduating in 1987. In the early 1980s Jim moved out of his parent’s home to live in Epton House, a group home for mentally disabled individuals in Pullman. In 2010 he moved into Hughes House, his residence at the time of his death.
Jim enjoyed participating in activities such as taking walks about town, particularly if it ended in a food or drink treat. Jim loved to “eat out” at restaurants in Pullman and Moscow. If there was a movie to go along with a meal so much the better. Since his parents were scholars with many books around, it is no surprise that he developed a great fascination for the printed page, the thicker the book the better. He was a lover of music especially if it had a good beat. He particularly enjoyed polkas, marches and much of modern and ethnic music. When his sisters were home for the holidays, they would play board games at which he was the consistent winner. Jim also had a good sense of humor that often caught us by surprise. When in doubt, he reverted to a set of “knock-knock” jokes. Jellybeans were in the category of a ceremonial food as long as he had “ceremonies” frequently.
Jim was preceded in death by his mother; and is survived by his two sisters Gail, Kent, Wash., and Laura, Scottsdale, Ariz.; his father Bob of Pullman; his uncle John and aunt Carmen Hanjian of Stirling Heights, Mich.; and cousins in Florida and Georgia.
Heartfelt thanks go out to the many house parents, social and case workers, and members of LMK Incorporated who have provided care and support for Jim over the years.
The Neptune Society of Spokane is in charge of final funeral arrangements. There are no immediate plans for a memorial service.
In spite of his handicaps, Jim enjoyed life, and had many redeeming qualities that endeared him to his family. He will be sorely missed.