BELGRADE, MT—Cecil Leroy Ackerman Jr. of Belgrade, MT, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 19, 2020, at his home with his wife Brenda at his side and family in the room, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Cecil was the son of Cecil Leroy Ackerman Sr. and Shirley Mae (Johnson) Ackerman and born April 23, 1961, in Sheldon, IA. He grew up in rural Ashton, IA, and attended Sibley High School. After high school Cecil served in the Army for two years before returning to Iowa where he worked on the railroad for several years until later becoming a self-employed contractor throughout Iowa.

Cecil was blessed with three beautiful girls: Jill, Jodi and Sara; an extraordinary son, Dylan; six amazing grandchildren: Tayler, Trevin, Bria, Caden, Gannon and Alicia and a precious great-granddaughter, Jordyn.

In 2002, Cecil and Brenda Stratmeier began their life together with their children in Steamboat Springs, CO, and later relocated to Montana in 2004. Cecil and Brenda were married in Paradise Valley at Pray, MT, along the Yellowstone River on Aug. 13, 2011.

Cecil worked as an Independent Contractor “Ackerman Construction” in Belgrade, MT, since 2004. Cecil was respected and admired by all of those he has ever worked with for his knowledge, honesty, and hard work ethic. He continued to work even after his diagnosis of cancer and multiple treatments in Billings, MT, up until July of last year when he had broken his right hip. It was only then that he stopped working because he had no choice. So he parked his truck and hung up his tool belt for the last time.

Cecil loved hunting in the mountains on snowy mornings with the boys, fishing and ice fishing, the kids’ sporting events every Friday night, family river floats on the 4th of July, BBQs with friends, his four Siberian huskies, the Green Bay Packers, a cold beer and a long Harley ride down a lonesome highway with an old friend. In his spare time, he enjoyed sunsets and a quiet star-filled summer night at home under the big Montana sky.

JR. will be remembered by all who loved him for his deep love for family, his big heart, blue eyes, contagious laugh, quick wit, smart comments and tender soul.

Those left to cherish his memories are his loving wife, Brenda; his six children: Dylan Ackerman; Michael Lingo, Sarah Lingo, Jill Heidebrink (Jared) and their children: Tayler (Hunter Sickels) and their daughter Jordyn; Trevin Wasmund, Bria Wasmund, Alicia Heidebrink; Jodi Ackerman and her children: Caden Ackerman and Gannon Garnett; and Sara Ackerman; his father, Cecil Sr.; brothers Curt (Sharon) Ackerman, Calvin Ackerman, Craig Ackerman, Corey (Colleen) Ackerman, Chad Ackerman, Charlie (Brenda) Ackerman, Clint (Lana) Ackerman; his “Favorite Little Sister“ Susan (Jeff) Kruger; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his mother Shirley Ackerman, maternal grandparents Peter and Sophie Johnson and paternal grandparents Tom Ackerman and Martha Ackerman.

A celebration on life will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, July 10, at Willow Creek, 5945 Highway 9, Ocheyedan, IA. A second celebration will be held 5-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, at 720 Cheery Drive in Belgrade, MT.