John Willis Ackley
John Willis Ackley
  • November 21, 1950 - June 9, 2017
  • Dallas, Texas

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On June 9th, 2017 , John Willis Ackley left this world to be reunited with his Lord and his wife, as well as many other friends and family. He was a man of great success in more ways than one and while we will have an Ackley sized hole in our heart until we are reunited with him, we celebrate the happiness and peace that he has now and forevermore.

John was born on November 21, 1950, in Wichita, Kansas. He graduated from Friends University and upon moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma, married the love and light of his life, Pamela Ackley, before moving to Dallas, Texas. John was destined for greatness in whatever he touched, but he knew the meaning of work. He worked tirelessly and eventually opened the Ackley Financial Group in Dallas. He joined Bent Tree Country Club in 1975, just three years after it opened and even served as the President amongst his many other obligations multiple times. He enjoyed the club on a daily basis.

His first son Rob, was born in 1984, followed by his second son, Jim, in 1987. John was a man that, while working hard to build his business, also found a way to work hard and build his family. The four of them had a blessed life together filled with laughter and experiences that will never be forgotten. His beloved wife Pam passed away in October of 2010 and left the family reeling. John was devastated but in true Ackley fashion, worked relentlessly to enjoy life until he was reunited with her. His family was made richer by the birth of his granddaughter, Brooklyn who was always such a light in his life, and by his honorary daughter and son's love, Aly.
John loved his boys Rob and Jim, he said many times over how he would do anything for them. They brought laughter and joy to his life by evolving from just "sons" to friends. He took them to his work when they were little and instilled in them the same passion and ethics, taught them to drive, supported their athletics, passions, and careers as they grew. It never mattered how far away he traveled, he was always there for his boys. He was close to his cousin Roger Lee and his parents from Wichita, Roger's dad being the man that taught John the work ethic that he had until his last day and Roger being the perfect mix of son, brother, and friend. He was equally close to other family members: Greg and Mike Cohlmia, and Ed Harroz and their families. Brooklyn was the little girl that he watched grow into a young lady that gave him the experience he didn't know he missed of having a daughter. He relished every opportunity to be a Papa to her and got tickled at the little things they enjoyed together like having ice cream for breakfast and summers in the pool. Aly came into his life as a friend and was left as a daughter. They shared travels and experiences, their common love for his friends and family, and a kindred connection between each other.

To know John was to know his friends, and the fact that they were family.His friends are a testament to John's character and heart. John had countless men the he loved, trusted, and enjoyed his time with in a variety of ways. Steve Clark was a best friend that John looked up to. The fishing, hunting, and trouble they got themselves into together is only one of the happy legacies he is leaving behind. His professional station at Ackley Financial Group and social station at Bent Tree served as a nexus for his friendships. He met lifelong friends there including Lewis Merritt, Roy Salley, Jeff Jacoby, Al Poppino, David West, John Norman, Bob Warmack, Lynn Moore Jr., Joe Longbotham, Fred McDonald, Dave Hudson, Trent Ware, and Tony Black with whom he shared OU and NFL football games, golf, basketball, hunting, fishing, and a drink or two. Each man stood out to John in their own way, each possessing his own strength that he admired and saw a different facet of himself in each man. Loyalty, adventure, trust, compassion, intelligence, humor, authenticity, faith, determination, honesty and respect were all exhibited by his friends and made John better, and happier.

He never met a stranger and had countless friends around the world. While we will all have an Ackley sized hole in our heart that will never fully heal, his legacy will live on inside of each one of us for us to share with the world. Remember him, but do not weep for him, for he is happy and at peace.

1 The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. 2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
-Isaiah 57 1-2

A private family burial will be held at Sparkman Hillcrest Friday morning followed by an open Memorial Service at Lover's Lane United Methodist Church at 3:00 in the afternoon. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Feherty's Troops First Foundation, the Wes Salley Foundation or another charity of your choosing.