July 6, 1930 – April 2, 2019
Bernard “Bernie” Edward Ackerman, long-time resident of Bothell, WA., passed away on April 2nd, 2019, at the age of 88.
A native of Cle Elum, Bernie was born on July 6th, 1930, to parents Henry and Anna Ackerman. After graduating from Cle Elum High School, Bernie earned his B.A. and M.A. in Music Education from Washington State University.
He began a distinguished teaching career at Wenatchee JH and HS where he taught from 1952-1953. From 1953-1955, he also served as the instructor in the Band Training Unit of the 6th Infantry Division Band for the U.S. Army in Fort Ord, California, during which he also played and conducted the band for a weekly radio show.
Bernie came to Bothell High School in 1955 where he would initially teach band, choir and music theory for eight years. He then continued conducting the BHS Marching Band and Symphonic Wind Ensemble for an additional 18 years until retiring in 1982. During his 27 years at BHS, his music groups consistently won regional, state, and national acclaim for excellence. During his tenure in the Northshore School District, Bernie also became the first district music coordinator for as many as 20 elementary and secondary schools, a position he would also hold until his retirement.
A passionate performer, Bernie also played trombone in the Bremerton Symphony and the Cascade Symphony Orchestra.
Some of the awards and honors Bernie received included The Distinguished Music Educator Award (NW Bandmasters Association), the Citation of Excellence (National Band Association), and was selected for the inaugural class of inductees for both the WMEA Hall of Fame (1998) and the Bothell community’s Wall of Honor (2010).
Bernie selflessly served his profession by not only serving on the Washington Music Educators Association board from 1972-1980 but also served as president for WMEA from 1976-1978.
A respected mentor to hundreds of students, Bernie’s passion for his students and his profession was clearly evident when he would often reiterate, “I love teaching kids through music!”
Always quick with a joke and with an infectious laugh, after retirement, Bernie and his family enjoyed traveling throughout the US and abroad, as well frequently spending time gardening.
Bernie was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Dorothy, and is survived by daughter, Anna, of Kirkland, WA.
Lifetime Celebrations by Washelli in Bothell, Washington, will be handling the arrangements and you may leave comments on their website, Washelli.com. The funeral will be held on Friday, May 10 th at 11AM, at St. Brendan Catholic Church, 10049 NE 195 th St., Bothell, 98011. A reception honoring the memory of Bernie and Dorothy will be held immediately following the service in the church narthex.