In Memoriam: John W. Acer
It is never easy to lose a friend. But when the friend is a man with the stature and fortitude of a man like John Acer, the loss is that much more great.
John Acer was a faithful patriot, a warrior for the cause, a founder of the Arizona Republican Assembly and of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA). John served on the NFRA Executive Board as Treasurer for ten years, and in all that time missed only one meeting.
John was not afraid to speak his mind, which could lead one to believe him gruff. That was not the case. A few minutes with John revealed not only his passion but also his tender spirit, which made him lovable to all of us. He was a man who believed strongly in the ideals that made this country great, and he upheld them with gusto.
We will miss John Acer. His shoes are not easily filled.
Please see his obituary below.
John W Acer passed away peacefully on June 24, 2012 after a long struggle with leukemia.
John Acer was born on September 13, 1932 in Medina, NY, the son of Donald W and Ethel Yaxley Acer. John is survived by his wife Martha, three daughters Susan, Catherine Coluccio, and Julia; and three grandchildren, Karina, Michael and Thomas. He is also survived by two brothers, Donald and Milford, and many nieces and nephews.
During the 1950s John attended Princeton University, and served in the US Army as a guided missile instructor at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. In 1956, he enrolled at the University of Iowa, where he received his BSEE degree and a Masters in Labor and Management. In May of 1955 he and Martha began their 57-year marriage. After he finished school, he joined a GE Marketing Training Program, which moved the family to Phoenix on temporary assignment. After several unusually cold and snowy Iowa winters, he vowed never to leave Phoenix! John and Marty have resided in Phoenix for over 50 years, and raised their daughters there.
After a few years, John left GE and worked with real estate and investments before entering Arizona State University Law School, where he earned his JD degree and was elected to the honorary law societies of Phi Delta Phi and Delta Theta Phi. Soon after graduation, he set up practice as a sole practitioner in Phoenix. John’s law practice consisted of small business, real estate, construction, estate planning (wills, trusts, etc), family law, commercial collections and election law. He was active in the residential landlord/tenant area, lobbied the state legislature and served on numerous committees. He helped found and has worked with the Arizona Tenants Association for indigent tenants. During his practice he has given time counseling needy clients and has provided free legal assistance through the Volunteer Law program. He has advised various Masonic groups and families. From 1996 through 2007, he served as a pro tempore judge in various Maricopa County courtrooms, and also has served as an arbitrator for the National Arbitration Forum.
John served as an Elder in his church, and represented his congregation or his denomination for many years in organizations which promoted interfaith efforts. He was first an officer and then president of North Phoenix Corporate Ministry in 1981-1982; this was the initial group to foster interfaith cooperation in education, charity and political action. John also directed the founding of the Interfaith Cooperative Ministry as well as being a founder, director, and chairman of Project S.H.A.R.E., which raises funds for the elderly and disabled to help pay their utilities. Finally he was founder, director, and for 18 years, ending in 2008, president of the Arizona Interfaith Coalition on Energy (AZ-ICE). John took great pride in this, as AZ-ICE has significantly reduced the electrical costs for religious congregations in the State of Arizona as well as their energy usage. He also served on his denomination’s judicial commission.
In 1980 John was elected a precinct committeeman. Thereafter he was elected state committeeman, District 18 Chairman in 1990, and a delegate to the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston. He was appointed to serve as legal counsel to the Arizona State Republican Party in 1992¬-1993, served as chairman of the State Rules Committee, and served on the State Elections Committee. He was also chairman of the County Resolutions Committee, and was a member of the County Credentials and Tally Committee and County Rules Committee.
He was one of the three founders of the Arizona Republican Assemby (ARA), the largest Republican group in the State, and served as its President from 1997 – 1999, and was one of the founders of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA), a national organization for conservative Republicans. John served as NFRA Treasurer from 2001 – 2011. John was an alternate delegate to the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. In 2008 at the Lincoln Day luncheon John was awarded the Lincoln Bust for lifetime achievement in the Republican Party. In 2012 he was given the NFRA Republic Assembly lifetime service award.
John touched many lives and made many friends, who found him to be outgoing, loyal, generous and always forthright with his views. One of his most endearing charms was his sense of humor. He loved to tease anyone and everyone, sometimes noticing a quality in someone to “run with”. This occasionally caused mild embarrassment, but was always humerous. Everyone remembers him with a smile.
John was interred at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona. Please visit www.hansenmortuary.com for his complete obituary and Masonic history, and to share online condolences with his family.
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