Obituary: Gladyce Francene Ackerman


November 11, 2022

Gladyce Francene (Hill) Ackerman, 87, of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, at Dove Healthcare in Rice Lake.

Born Sept. 24, 1935 in Aitkin, Minnesota, Francene grew up in the Cloquet and Cromwell areas. She met the man who would become her husband, Lewis Ackerman, in Cloquet and they married Dec. 15, 1956, three months after Lewis returned from being stationed with the U.S. Navy in Hawaii.

Francene and Lew started their family in St. Paul, eventually relocating to upstate New York, then back to St. Paul and settling in Eagan, where Francene worked as a stay-at-home mother, raising four young children on Copper Lane. She enjoyed socializing with neighbors and entertaining friends and family in her and Lew's homes in Eagan and later Scandia, then Mesa, Arizona and Birchwood, Wisconsin.

In their 61 years of marriage, Lew and Francene had endless adventures together, including time spent residing in various locales including New Mexico, New York, West Virginia and Ohio. After a cross-country road trip searching for the perfect place to call home in retirement, they settled in the Birchwood area on Long Lake, where they made even more friends, welcomed frequent visits from children and grandchildren, and were active in the Long Lake Preservation Association and Long Lake Lutheran Church.

In 2016, the Ackermans moved to Rice Lake, and after Lew's passing in 2018, Francene relocated to a new home in Rice Lake where she could be closer to friends. Ever the social butterfly, she enjoyed playing cards, walks with her dog Winston, hosting family gatherings and attending regular get-togethers with the neighborhood ladies.

Francene's family and friends appreciated not just her many culinary talents, her sense of humor and her devotion to the color blue, but her generosity, kindness and compassion. She was a witty conversationalist, empathetic ear and loyal friend, often keeping in touch with old neighbors and acquaintances decades after moving away from each other.

Francene was a loving daughter, mother, wife, grandmother and great-grandmother - known as "Big Grandma or "Grandma Fran" by her great-grandsons - and spent many weekends at "Ackerville," the family's lake property in Sawyer.

Francene was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Frances Hughes; and husband, Lewis Ackerman.

She is survived by her children in Minnesota, Debra (Timothy) Raidt of Jordan, Richard (Cheryl) of Eagan, Russell (Karen) of Scandia, and Steven (Christine) of Savage; grandchildren, Dana Raidt, Ryan Raidt, Janelle Novak, Darcy (Connor) Jendro and Grace Ackerman; three great-grandchildren, Dominic Tenhoff-Raidt, Mack Jendro and Jaxon Jendro; several nieces and nephews; and countless old and new friends.

Visitation: 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service Saturday, Nov. 12 at Long Lake Lutheran Church, W3114 Church Road in Sarona, Wisconsin. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 14 in Sawyer Cemetery. Arrangements by Atkins Northland Funeral Home in Cloquet. To sign the guestbook and leave an online tribute see,


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