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Monday, March 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Obituaries

Obituary: Ackerman, Gary L. “Butch”

Age 73

ACKERMAN, Gary L. “Butch” (Age 73) A lifelong Dusty and Colfax area resident, passed away Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at his home.

Graveside Services will be held Friday, August 28th, at 10:00 a.m. in the Colfax Cemetery followed by a Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m. at the Colfax Baptist Church.

Viewing for those who wish will be Thursday from 9 to 4 at Bruning Funeral Home.

Pastors Lynn Nelson and Bob Ingalls will preside over the service.

Gary was born January 22, 1942 in Colfax.

He was the youngest of four children born to Theodore R. “Ted” and Florence Wood Ackerman and the only boy.

Gary’s older sisters adored their baby brother.

They grew up in Dusty, and Gary graduated from Colfax High School in 1960.

He served in the Washington National Guard for two years while continuing to help his father on the farm.

Gary completed his Bachelor’s Degree at WSU in light construction management a few years later and his dad soon retired and Gary took over farming full time.

He married Linda Anderson and the couple had two children, Candy and Greg.

They enjoyed activities as a family such as snow skiing in the winter or the times Gary would take them all out on the Snake in their sailboat.

He also taught the kids to water ski.

Gary and Linda later divorced.

Gary was active in the community he loved.

He served on the Dusty Farm Co-op Board, was a 50 year member-plus of the Wilcox Grange, a longtime member of the Colfax Elks and the Dusty Gun Club.

He was introduced to Rita Bruins Shahan by mutual friends at the Wheat N’Barley in Colfax one night and the couple hit it off right away.

They dated for a time and were married in a beautiful ceremony at the Black Butte Ranch in Sisters, Oregon on October 26, 1990.

Gary’s kids and Rita’s two boys had been in pre-school together and the family grew well together.

They made their home in Colfax and Gary commuted back and forth to the farm at Dusty.

For many years Gary’s right hand man at the farm was Kevin Doty.

Gary took Kevin under his wing and became a mentor to him and they really shared a special bond.

Gary also owned and managed several apartments in Colfax along with his sister.

It was quite the family affair with Rita renting them out and Gary doing the maintenance.

Gary’s trips to the Dusty Gun Club for sausage making were always memorable as were the once-per-year annual golf outings in the Elk’s Tournament.

He did like to golf.

Each fall after the leaves had all been raked they would travel to Hawaii.

Gary didn’t always like to go, but once he got there it seemed alright.

He and Rita made several trips to Portland and Seattle to visit family and time spent at Black Butte Ranch was special too.

He liked to follow Cougar Football and Gonzaga Basketball, but from a distance, Gary didn’t like the crowds.

He was quiet and reserved most of the time, but when he had something to say people would listen.

He dabbled in the stock market and loved to follow the ups and downs routinely on TV.

Gary suffered a stroke in 2007 that slowed him down a bit and coupled with some earlier heart issues he knew it was time to turn the farm over to Reid and in 2008 he retired.

Gary will be remembered by his wife Rita at their Conkling Park home; four children, Candy (Steve) Bernd of Seattle, Greg Ackerman of Spokane, Reid Shahan of Dusty, and Justin (Jennifer) Shahan of Colfax; five beautiful grandkids, Kyle Bernd, Alyssa Bernd, Sydney Ackerman, Courtney Ackerman and Piper Shahan; two sisters, Bonnie Wigen of Santa Rosa, CA.

and Patty Lewis of Portland, OR; as well as a brother-in-law, Jim Bruins of Bothell, WA.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Dee Doty.

The family suggests memorial gifts be made to the Friends of Hospice or to the Palouse Empire Fair Foundation.

On-line guest book is at

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