The woman who founded the Seattle Storm has died.
Ginger Ackerley passed away at her home in Seattle Friday. She had battled ovarian cancer for more than six years.
Ginger was a model in New York City, before meeting her future husband, Barry, on a blind date. The couple married in July of 1963, and settled into the Puget Sound area in 1976 before founding Ackerley Communications. The family would go on to buy the NBA’s Seattle Supersonics.
While that gained headlines, Ginger spent countless hours in civic and community work. She joined the Junior League of Seattle and volunteered extensively in the community. She also helped launch Ackerley Corporate Giving, the philanthropic arm of the company. The organization gave a percentage of gross revenues to charities like Northwest Harvest. Ackerley also served as President of the Pacific Science Center and ArtsFund, and served on the Seattle Foundation Board of Trustees and Washington Women’s Foundation.
Ginger was the recipient of several lifetime achievement awards, according to a spokesperson. They include the Dorothy Bullitt Community Service Award, the Junior Achievement-Puget Sound Business Hall of Fame Laureate Award, the Washington Policy Center’s Champion of Freedom Award, the Seattle Sports Commission’s Paul G. Allen Award, the Washington Anti-Defamation League’s Torch of Liberty Award as well as from the Corporate Council for the Arts (ArtsFund). She was also the recipient of the University of Washington 2017 Kappa Kappa Gamma Mary Maxwell Gates Award.
Mrs. Ackerley is survived by her daughter Kim Ackerley Cleworth, her two sons Christopher and Ted Ackerley and seven grandchildren – Henry, Atty, Charlie, Anabelle, Benjamin, Hunter and Ashley.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions are directed to Wellspring Family Services – 1900 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98144.
A service will be held on February 2 at Seattle's Epiphany Parish, reports Puget Sound Business Journal.