Comanche Trail volunteer improved community

High school sweetheards Ervin “Butch” and Donna Ackman would have celebrated 56 years of marriage this month. Butch passed away on May 28 of Lou Gehrig’s disease. The picture shows the couple at the Comanche Trail community fi re drill March 2, 2019. Photo by April Greear

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

Ervin “Butch” Ackman, longtime Comanche Trail resident and avid volunteer, died on May 28 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease. 

Butch was diagnosed last summer with ALS.

“There is no cure – our doctors were surprised with how quickly he declined,” said his widow Donna Ackman.  

She said his death unfortunately was not unexpected.

“(ALS) was a particularly cruel disease for him because all his life he exercised to be fit and ate only healthy foods and this disease ravaged his body,” Donna said. “It was horrible on so many levels.”

Butch was born on September 19, 1943 in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

“He and I were high school sweethearts and would have celebrated our 56th anniversary this month,” Donna said.

Butch, with the help of their architect, designed a large part of their house in Comanche Trail along Panorama Drive.

“We moved in in February of 2001,” Donna said. “We felt it was the best place we ever lived – great community.”

Butch was a dedicated volunteer, making his community a better place to live.

He was a member of the Lake Travis Fire Rescue Citizen’s Advisory Committee and Plan Review Appeals Commission.

“Butch will be greatly missed by the entire LTFR team,” stated Paula Barr, Lake Travis Fire Rescue president of Board of Commissioners in a letter to the

Citizen’s Education Forum members.

“(He) never missed a meeting, always sported his signature smile and came prepared to contribute,” Barr added.

“Butch was a dear friend and avid supporter of the department’s public safety initiatives, always eager to help and share uplifting words of encouragement,” Barr said.

Butch was also active in the Comanche Trail Firewise group and played a key leadership role in the major disaster evacuation drill staged in the Comanche Trail neighborhood by LTFR and other first responder agencies in early 2019. 

Additionally Butch served as a member of the Board of Directors of Travis County Water Control and Improvement District #17.

He received his MBA in business strategy from Xavier University and his bachelor of business administration and international business at the University of Cincinnati.

For over 30 years, Butch’s career was in all aspects of organization management. Most recently he provided advisory services to Quadrigy Inc., a technology-based competitive strategy systems provider. He worked with leadership in industry, academia, capital markets and government in the U.S. and partnering countries to improve economic growth, job creation, national security and trade policy, according to LinkedIn. 

Throughout his career he was a principal at World Advisory Services, senior consultant at RWD Technologies, and a senior manager at Deloitte Consulting.

He also wrote a book on the history and current status of President Reagan’s program to restore U.S. competitiveness, “Project Socrates”.

“Personally, whenever I drive through the Comanche Trail community, I will remember Butch with special fondness recalling the innovative signage project he helped (encourage) to enhance recognition of intricate property locations by first responder agencies,” Barr said.

Butch has a daughter in Dallas and a son in Dripping Springs. 

In keeping with current COVID-19 gathering limitations, services for Ackman will be observed by the family in private.