Deborah Jean Acker, 69, left this life on July 6, 2023 at Swedish Hospital, Chicago, after a brief illness. Born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, she was the daughter of George and Ludmilla (Klancer) Acker. A graduate of St. Clement Elementary School and Sheboygan North High School, she graduated from Rosary College (now Dominican University) in River Forest. Passionate about the theater from a young age, she appreciated the incredible preparation she received as a major in Communication Arts and Theater at Rosary.

After college, she worked at several different theaters and a theatrical publishing company. In 1986, she was one of the first hires that Barbara Gaines made when she founded Chicago Shakespeare Theater. As a respected member of that company, she wore various hats, principally those of stage and production manager. She also stage-managed the theater’s summer productions in Grant Park for a number of years and was privileged to work with countless wonderfully talented directors, actors and fellow associates of the Shakespeare Repertory Theater of Chicago, later to become Chicago Shakespeare Theater, on Navy Pier. She retired in July of 2020 after more than 30 years with the company.

Making her home in Oak Park, in her time away from the theater she enjoyed backyard barbecues, hiking in the forest preserve, movies, and especially spending time with her series of canine companions.

Deb is survived by her sister and brother, Sr. Georgia Acker OP and Tim Acker. She will be missed by her lifelong friends, Paula Murphy and Jodi Liethen, as well as her many friends and colleagues in the Chicago theater world. She was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and one infant brother, George Michael.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Saints Cyril and Methodius Church in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on July 22, followed by burial in Greendale Cemetery.

A Chicago-area memorial service will be announced in the future.

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