Muskegon Joins Local Department in Tribute to Percy L. Ackels

Flags at Engine House are Hung at Half Mast

Flags on the 12 city fire engine houses were hung at half mast yesterday afternoon in tribute to the memory of Percy L. Ackels, killed by the collapse of a wall of the Hall street car barns early Saturday and whose funeral, held from his home, 813 Madison ave., SE., at 2 o'clock marked the passing of the first city fireman to lose his life at a fire in the more than 70 years history of the Grand Rapids department.

Typifying a fraternity of spirit which has existed for the last 30 years, 20 members of the Muskegon fire department lead by Capt. Albert R. Cayo and Assistant Chief Timothy Loughlin; motored here yesterday and added their presence to the 125 members of the Grand Rapids department and a platoon of local police who formed an escort as the body of Ackels was conveyed to Washington Park cemetery and made his last rites services of ---most impressiveness.

Two Home Mourn

The homes of Capt. William Spencer of No. 7 engine house and of the late Peter Ackels are directly across the street from the fire station and adjoin one another, and there was a wreath of flowers and crepe at the entrances of each home yesterday afternoon. For it was in singular coincidence that Mrs. William Spencer, who had for five years been ill of cancer, should died just 12 hours after the anger of death touched Mr. Ackels, her neighbor and her husband's fellow fireman at the Hall Street car barns, Saturday morning. Her funeral will be held this afternoon.

The Ackels home was filled with sorrowing relatives and friends, when the services were opened at 2 o'clock by Rev. E. J. Tanis, pastor of the First Christian Reformed church. As he preached before the flower banked casket, Mrs. Ackels sat nearby, and her only daughter, Jean Marie, aged 9 years, tried to comfort her mother, whose dry; heart-wringing sobs punctuated the words of the preacher.

The sacrifices the city firemen are making in our behalf are of unique character for they imperil their lives and the happiness of their homes and their dear ones for us, said Rev. Tanis.

Transcriber: ES
Created: 11 February 2010