The Bar News

Richard Ackman 1927-2020

Richard L. Ackman, of Bourbonnais and Tequesta, Fla., passed away at his home in Tequesta, Fla., on July 29, 2020.

He was born Sept. 23, 1927, in Belvidere, the son of L.W. and Frances Redman Ackman.

Preceding him in death were his parents; a brother, Charles P. Ackman; and a son-in-law, Marshall (Sam) Blake.
Survivors include his wife, Peggy Kunce Ackman, to whom he was married May 11, 1985; his children, Kathleen Ackman Blake, M.D., Jeffrey D. Ackman, M.D., and Todd C. Ackman, CPA; grandchildren, Marissa Blake Hancock, Kristi Blake, Quinn Ackman, Dani Ackman, Nicole Ackman and Hannah Ackman; and great-grandson, Leonard Marshall Hancock.

Memorials may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children, Duke University School of Medicine or Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

Upon graduation from Marengo High School in 1945, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served from 1945 to 1947. Upon discharge, he enrolled at the University of Illinois, receiving his B.S. in 1949, and his J.D. in 1951. He was admitted to practice law in 1950 and worked for the legal counsel of the University of Illinois until completion of his studies.

In 1951, he joined the firm of Gower, Gray and Gower. In 1953, he became a partner in Gray, McIntire, Peterson and Ackman, leaving to form his own firm in 1960, with offices in Kankakee and St. Anne.

Richard became active in the community in the Junior Chamber of Commerce, serving as president, vice president and a state director. He was a member of the Kankakee Library Board and of the Kankakee School District 111 Board of Education, serving as chairman of the athletic committee. He was also a member of the Little League and Elks Pony League programs, as well as the American Legion, Kiwanis, Elks and the Kankakee and St. Anne Chambers of Commerce.

He was a director of Marengo State Bank (1965-1986), First Bank of Meadowview (1965-1987), and First Trust & Savings Bank/First of America Bank (1987-1991).

In January of 1955, Judge Victor N. Cardosi appointed Dick as the first public defender of Kankakee County, where he served until 1969.

He was appointed a special assistant attorney general for the State of Illinois in worker’s compensation in 1972, serving until 1981.

Dick was a member of the American Bar Association (section of tort and insurance practice); Illinois State Bar Association (1977-1981), worker’s compensation law section council (1985-1986), special committee on location of federal district court for Central Illinois (1987) and standing committee on judicial appointments (1988-1990); Chicago Bar Association; Kankakee County Bar Association (president 1975-1976), real estate committee; and the Iroquois Bar Association.

He was also part of the National Association of Defense Counsel, The Illinois Defense Counsel, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (board of managers (1980-1986), nominating committee (1982)), and on the panel of arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association.

Dick served on the 21st Century Fund Capital Campaign for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education; and was a member of the Advisory Council of the Kankakee County Economic Council.

He was a charter member of the Fellows of the Illinois Bar Association and is listed in Who’s Who in American Law.

In 1981, by invitation from the Board of Regents, Dick was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers at an induction ceremony in New Orleans and served on the Illinois State Committee.

He was a member of the Kankakee Country Club, 100 Club and Turtle Creek Country Club in Tequesta, Fla.

Dick retired from the practice of law in June of 2008 to the golf course and gin rummy table.

Posted on September 22, 2020 by Rhys Saunders
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