Marie Palmer Ackerman

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Marie Palmer Ackerman, 103, died peacefully Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 at Benson Hall, White Oak Manor.

Born at home in Flushing, N.Y. April 16, 1911 she was the daughter of Peter and Emma Palmer Guttilla.  Her father was a well-known cabinet maker and her mother did fine sewing for the wealthy families of Long Island.  Educated in the Flushing Queens Public School System, she was employed by the Queens Borough Public Library System under the City of New York for 28 years and the City of White Plains Public Library for an additional five years.  She and her husband retired to Tryon, N.C. in 1991 to be near her sister and brother in law. Both families lived in White Oak Village.  Marie had lived in Flushing, N.Y., White Plains, N.Y., Suffern, N.Y. and finally Tryon, N.C.

Marie was a skilled pianist. A regular listener to the Metropolitan Opera Saturday broadcasts, she followed opera and various singers through the years.  An avid reader and follower of current events, she could be sharp and focused.

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Marie was a wonderful storyteller and would entertain her family and friends with anecdotes about her youth and what it was like growing up in Flushing, N.Y. surrounded by a large Italian family.  She had a quick wit and a great sense of humor and was always interested in hearing news from her extended family.  She was vital and healthy and even when she was slowing down, she made the effort to attend numerous concerts in Tryon’s beautiful Rogers Park escorted by her family. Her 103rd birthday was celebrated in Benson Hall at White Oak Manor where the Mayor of Tryon made a special appearance and read a proclamation in her honor.  She commented that in her long life, “She had never been kissed by a mayor!”

Marie was the oldest of four children (first generation Italian Americans). Her sisters Helen (John) Osborne of Paramus, N.J. and Elvira “Dittie” (Robert) Widdicombe of Tryon and her brother Carl “Geeler” (Mildred) Guttilla of Bellmore, Long Island and Seal Beach, Calif. all predeceased her.

On Oct. 5, 1941 she married Reynold William Ackerman from Jersey City, N.J. He was a soldier in WWII and later a fine wire specialist at the Sigmund Cohn Corporation of Mt. Vernon, N.Y.  “Ack” was the son of Frank and Elizabeth Arndt Ackerman and predeceased her on July 18, 1992.

Marie is survived by her sister in law, Mary Ackerman of Sarasota, Fla., Mrs. Joseph Burke of Whiting, N.J., Her niece Lynne ( Tom) Clarke of Naples Island, Calif., Laurie (Tim) Clarke of Mt. Pleasant S.C. her nephew John Osborne of Paramus, N.J., her nephew Richard Palmer (Martha) Widdicombe of Utica, N.Y. nephew David Widdicombe of Tryon, N.C.

The Inurnment will be at the Memorial Garden of the Tryon Congregational Church.

An online guest register is available at

McFarland Funeral Chapel

Tryon, N.C.