Matthew AckermanWe begin a new journey, a difficult one at that, through uncharted area. This past weekend we suddenly and unexpectedly lost the youngest member of our family, Matthew Karlstad Ackerman, age 23. He bounced into the world, demanding much attention, November 25, 1985. Robert, Jonathan, and I welcomed him with open hearts. It is now, with sadness we bid him adieu with our open hearts to a greater life.

His abbreviated but rich and full life touched the hearts of many. In the past few days we have heard some of Matthew’s qualities: warm heart, open, accepting, humorous, love, strong convictions, gallantry…the list will continue to populate as the week progresses.

We are proud to be given the 23 years with him, and to enjoy his day to day antics and habits. His future looked promising as he finally realized he was getting a great education for himself, not just another thing to do. He embraced learning and the experiences that go with the process. This was a huge step for him, as most know he struggled with dyslexia. Matthew will leave a void in many hearts, but we will continue to celebrate his life as we each remember what of his was important to us.

In the spirit and memory of Matthew we have established the ‘Matthew Ackerman Scholarship Fund’ through the Hazelden Foundation so that his love and help to others will continue as his legacy. Hazelden was important in our lives and we would like to touch the lives of others in honor of our dear son and brother, Matthew. We will go forth on this journey together and look forward to the good that Matthew’s spirit and love will provide comfort to all he knew and did not know.

Please use this site to share your memories and stories. Use it as a means to network and make new friends. As our journey commences we invite you to join us so that we may help others and discover together.

Kristine, Robert, and Jonathan Ackerman