Carol Ackerman, active in civic life on Cape Ann for nearly 50 years, including leadership in Rockport Music, Wellspring House and the Sawyer Free Library, died Tuesday, October 30, 2017, at home in Gloucester, of cancer. She was 75.
Ms. Ackerman taught French and Spanish to more than 2,000 students over nearly 30 years in public schools in Gloucester, Rockport, Ipswich, Natick and Bourne, and at Shore Country Day School in Beverly. She applied her language skills in other jobs after retirement and in tutoring newcomers from abroad in the Wellspring program at Sawyer Free Library.
Born in Racine, Wisc,, to Temple Nieter, an engineer and inventor, and Helene Boyer Nieter, a radiologist, she grew up in Illinois and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Middlebury College in Vermont. She perfected her French in Paris, as a Fulbright Scholar, and her Spanish at a University of Arizona program in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Carol was a lifetime lover of choral music and sang with the Handel and Haydn Society and Cecelia Society in Boston, Chorus North Shore, and several church choirs She enjoyed cooking, gardening, walking in Ravenswood Park, and appreciating Cape Ann’s beauty. She was a quilter, designing many of her own works, and a member of the Seven Sisters or Sew quilters group.
She plunged into civic activity, beginning with leading a Girl Scout troop, soon after moving to Gloucester in 1968. She was a past chair of the boards at Wellspring House and the North Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Danvers, and a member of the boards of the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, and the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, now Rockport Music. Stepping back, she remained active on committees at Sawyer Free Library and the Gloucester UU church.
Carol considered her work to establish a Music Outreach Program at Rockport Music one of her finest accomplishments. Through it, students in public schools in Gloucester, Rockport and Salem are introduced to music with in-school appearances by professional musicians. Carol also was proud of being involved with the construction of the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport.
She and her husband, Jerry, met on Cape Cod through mutual friends and married in Evanston, Ill., in 1967. She leaves two daughters, Laurel and Suzanne, both of Arlington, Mass.; and a son, Steven of San Francisco; and four grandchildren, Clark and June Thakuria of Arlington, Isidor (Izzy) of San Francisco, and Jamie Holland, a step-grandson of Newburyport. She also leaves a sister, Mary Nieter of Gaithersburg, Md., and several nieces and nephews.
Following her wishes, there will be no funeral service. The family is planning a memorial event, with details to be announced.
Gifts in Carol’s memory may be made to the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, 10 Church St., Gloucester, MA 01930; the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, 2 Dale Ave., Gloucester, MA 01930; Rockport Music, 37 Main St., Rockport, MA 01966; Wellspring House, 302 Essex Ave., Gloucester, MA 01930; or Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan St., Danvers, MA 01923. For online condolences and register book, please visit www.pikenewhall.com.
The Pike-Newhall Funeral Home, 61 Middle St., Gloucester, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Published on  November 7, 2017