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Joan M. (Moquin) Ackerman
April 12, 1933 ~ August 14, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old
7 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Joan's family - View on Tribute Wall
Joan Marie (Moquin) Ackerman of West Brookfield, passed away peacefully at Baystate Medical Center on August 14, 2023. Joan was an accomplished banking executive, a trailblazer for women in business, and a dedicated community leader.
Born in Springfield, Mass., Joan was the daughter of the late Leon and Cecilia Moquin. She attended Cathedral High School and was a graduate of the Williams College School of Banking as well as the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in management from Simmons College.
Joan joined Third National Bank in 1955 as an administrative assistant, progressing to commercial loan officer, then head of loan operations. As one of few women to reach executive ranks at the time, she ultimately retired as Senior Vice President, Fleet Financial (Bank of America). Through her work at the bank, she enabled many local businesses with the capital they needed and was responsible for loan systems integration as her bank merged with others.
Giving back was important to Joan – she had a way of taking challenges and turning them into opportunities with remarkable tenacity. Passionate about helping women reach their potential, she regularly spoke on topics such as, “Balancing Work, Family, and Community” and “Women as Leaders” during the 1970s and 1980s. During one of her speeches, she said, “There is still much room for many of us (women) to grow, and we have to take on more by improving our skills. Each of us has something to say about setting our destinies and taking on leadership roles.” Joan also supported political candidates in their quest for office, many of them women.
Joan served on various boards, including at Wilbraham and Monson Academy, the College of Our Lady of the Elms, the Mental Health Association of Greater Springfield, the YWCA of Western Massachusetts, Springfield School Volunteers, the-then National Association of Bank Women, and Zonta International, to name a few. She was honored as “Woman of the Year” by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce in 1988 and led the organization’s Women’s Division for a period.
Aside from her significant professional accomplishments, Joan’s family and many friends were paramount in her life. Joan deeply valued connection and friendship and did so until her last breath. She savored summers at the lake, winters in Florida, and many adventures in between.
She relished celebrating holidays and enjoyed costume parties. Joan also shared a special relationship with her grandchildren. She could be seen cheering on the sidelines of soccer fields and bleachers at hockey rinks. Joan was a crossword puzzle enthusiast as well as a skillful and competitive card player, especially Canasta.
Joan is predeceased by her beloved husband of 68 years, Leonard Ackerman, with whom she enjoyed life’s greatest adventures. Together, they proudly owned the Village Store in Wilbraham, Mass. She leaves behind her greatest joy, her daughter, Deborah Maagero (Ray) of Suffield, Conn., two cherished grandchildren, Ashley Maagero Lee (Jeffrey) of Boston, and Michael Maagero of Waltham, two great-grandchildren, Christian (Chase) and Harrison Lee of Boston, her beloved sister Elaine Zapatha of Sarasota, Fla., as well as many dear friends.
The family offers their sincere appreciation to Keystone Commons for the care they provided to Joan during recent years, as well as to the staff at Baystate Medical Center for their compassion in her final days.
Calling hours for Joan will be held on Wednesday, August 30, 2023, from 9:30 to10:30am in the Varnum Funeral Home, Inc., 43 East Main St. in West Brookfield, followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00am in Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish, 22 West Main St., West Brookfield.
Donations in her memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alzfdn.org) and the Mental Health Association (www.mhainc.org).
An online guest book is available at varnumfuneralhome.com