Albert J. Ackermann ’68

Albert John Ackermann, affectionately known as Al or Buddy, peacefully passed away on June 25, 2023, in Cincinnati, Ohio, surrounded by his loving children. Born on September 14, 1949, in Saint Louis, Missouri, his remarkable journey was marked by his achievements as an elite swimmer, successful career in banking, and his role as a devoted father.

An accomplished swimmer, Al’s love for the sport was cultivated as the son of a swim camp owner. He excelled in swimming at The Williston Northampton School and Harvard University and traveled abroad as a member of the US swim team. Despite facing health challenges, including a rare form of blood poisoning, rectal cancer, and a battle with a neurological disease, Al’s unwavering spirit remained strong.

In his professional life, Al achieved success as a banker, earning respect within his field. He also actively participated in ToastMasters International, nurturing his public speaking skills and forming meaningful connections.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Al treasured his personal life and the invaluable relationships he cultivated. He was a devoted and proud father to his children, AJ Ackermann, Grant Ackermann, and Elizabeth (Ackermann) Hogan. Their shared experiences were filled with laughter and cherished memories, including deep-sea fishing, go-karting and engaging in spirited rounds of putt-putt golf in Al’s favorite place – Naples, Florida.

Al’s adoration extended to his beloved grandchildren, Oliver Hogan and Harvey Hogan, as he enthusiastically followed their progress in swimming classes. Al found joy swimming, reading, savoring symphonic music, and passionately supporting his hometown baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals. He also had a fondness for movies and was an active member of Masters Swimming. Al maintained a lifelong friendship with his ex-spouse, Cindy Ackermann, offering mutual support throughout life’s journey.

Al was preceded in death by his parents, Alice and Albert John Ackermann. He is survived by his children, AJ Ackermann, Grant Ackermann, and Elizabeth Ackermann (Patrick Hogan), as well as his sisters, Bev Shoop (Dee Shoop) and Janet Zucker (Bob Zucker). Al’s memory will live on through his beloved grandchildren, Oliver and Harvey Hogan.

Al will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who knew him. His kindness, considerate nature, and unwavering love will forever be remembered. The family will hold a private ceremony to celebrate his life. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

As we bid farewell to Al, we carry his memory in our hearts, honoring the legacy of a remarkable man who touched the lives of many.

3 thoughts on “Albert J. Ackermann ’68”

  1. Big Al- recruited me! I had never heard of Williston, and was ready to go to Andover. We competed in many St Louis pools-and I was pretty good as a young age grouper-still I always lost. It was nothing to be ashamed of, since he held 56 national age group records at one time or another. We shared a love for the Cardinals and swimming, and a playful distain for a couple New England teams….It sounds like he had a wonderful life, with all the ups and downs that allow us to appreciate its richness. I will always remember my friend and smile. Bill(“X”)Borkon, ’72

  2. Sorry to hear of Al’s death. We spent many hours in the pool over three years, he was an amazing swimmer and had a sardonic sense of humour, which was much appreciated. Sadly we completely lost contact after graduation, good to see he had good family and work in his life. Didn’t know he recruited you Bill, glad he did though.

    1. I was “Big Al”’s friend at Harvard and hung out with him and other members of the swim team, which I covered for the Crimson (I’m trans; I was Charles B. “Terry” Straus back then). Very sad to hear of his death. I only saw him two times after college, the first 50 years ago this past summer when we went to a Cards-Mets game (a 2-1 win for the Mets, Tom Seaver over Rick Wise, both complete game performances by All-Star pitchers at the top of their games, and, after drinking way too much, drove like bats out of hell back to the estate of a member of the Busch family, Al leading the way in his Porsche and my following in my BMW 2002. The second was a lunch at the Harvard Club of New York in the early 1980’s, when he was in the City for a banking conference and I was working as a lawyer for Mobil. That’s the last time I ever saw Al, but I had been thinking a lot about our wild time fifty years ago. I wanted to get in contact with him, but he died before I had the chance to reconnect. I’ll never forget his booming, stentorian voice and wry sense of humor. It sounds like he was quite successful as a banker before a series of health challenges set in.

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