James Elba “POPS” Ackley, 87, of Ocala, tranquilly decamped to the Happy Hunting Ground on August 14th, 2020 at Ocala Health and Rehabilitation Center.
James, known as Jim to his family, was born in Vermontville, Michigan the son of Harry A. Ackley and Helen L. (Harvey) Ackley on April 12th, 1933. He graduated from Woodland High School in 1951 and went on to attend General Motors Institute in Flint, MI and GM Tech Center in Warren, MI for Mechanical Engineering. After leaving General Motors, he moved to Indiana where he met his 3rd wife Georgia; they were married February 10th, 1969. In 1974, they moved to Louisiana, then later to Mississippi for several years before settling Ocala, FL in 1986.
James was a lifelong outdoor sportsman; he loved fishing, trapping, deer and turkey hunting and traveled all over the United States for hunting tournaments as a member of the American Coon Hunters Association. He bred and raised AKC registered Treeing Walker Coonhounds for over four decades and won several state and regional championships. James was also an avid gardener and farmer. He loved raising all varieties of livestock, flowers, fruits and vegetables; his favorite of which were tomatoes and any kind of hot pepper he could find. He continued gardening and teaching others how to until his final days. His other pastimes were, reading about nature, watching old western movies and enjoying great food, especially Cajun meals.
James, affectionately known as “POPS” to everyone in his later years, never met a stranger and was truly loved and adored by many across the nation for his outgoing personality, roguish charm and devilish grin. He lived more adventures in one life than many can even imagine and had endless stories to entertain anyone who would listen about all of his escapades.
James was preceded in death by his loving wife of 38 years, Georgia Mae (Miller) Ackley; sister, Mary R. Darling of Saginaw, MI; son in laws, Jay Robbins of Marquette, MI and Kevin Fountain of Brevard, NC; and Ex-wife Jane (Baker) Rathbun of Cadillac, MI.
He is survived by his five daughters, Rhoda R. Ackley and Jammie A. Ackley of Ocala; Vicki L. (Ivan) Mullins of Sun City, FL; Pamela D. Robbins and Julie D. Fountain of Crystal River, FL; five grandchildren, Ashlee Agar of Madisonville, TN; Dr. Aaron J. Robbins of L’Anse, MI; Shannon ( Jamie) Milliman-Tidwell of Eaton Rapids, MI; Steven Milliman of Bloomingdale, MI; Stefanie (Dan) Davis of Portland, MI; 7 great- grandchildren and 2 great-great -granddaughters. Sister in law Joeann S. (Miller) Like of Bloomington, IN; ex –wife Barbara (Potter) Worman of Sun City; and ex- brother in law Leonard Myers of Lithia, FL, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donation be made to the Ocala Health and Rehab Activities Department and Hospice of Marion County.