Sidney Ackert

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Sidney Ackert, (3/10/27-7/8/18) a passionate, long time Santa Barbara resident, a talented wine maker and respected aerospace engineer passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones in Santa Barbara, California.   Sid was born in Chicago, spent his early childhood in Milwaukee.  He was the second of three children (brother Irving and sister Elaine) of Fanny and Joseph Ackerberg, who were emigrants from Eastern Europe.

The family later relocated to Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles and graduated from Roosevelt High School before serving as a Naval Petty Officer in the Pacific where he serviced the ship’s radar systems.   After the war, he owned and ran a television store in Los Angeles where he met and married Harriet Robbins, his wife of 64 years.

Once married, he enrolled at El Camino Community College while working full time at Hughes Aircraft Company in Culver City, California.  He later transferred to UCLA and graduated with Honors in Electronic Engineering.

At Hughes Aircraft Company he worked with a team of engineers that developed radar antennae systems for military aircraft at the Culver City plant before transferring to the Santa Barbara Research Center.  There, he oversaw a large-scale effort that created the thematic mapper, an infrared camera that was launched on the Landsat series satellites, a technology still in use today.

After retirement, he started a boutique winery with 3 friends called Los Companeros showcasing central coast grapes. The winery was a gathering place for friendship and camaraderie for wine lovers throughout Santa Barbara County.  The winery obtained great acclaim and won over 100 gold medals, including best of show for their Pinot Noir at the Orange County Fair among 1000’s of entries. Campaneros continues to produce outstanding wine for their friends and for donation to charitable organizations having raised tens of thousands of dollars. 

He was an inveterate patron and devotee of classical music and supported the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra and was a member of the Cosmopolitan “Cosmo” Club.

Sid is survived by his wife Harriet, sons David (Charlotte) of Las Vegas, NV, Todd of Solvang, CA, and daughter Kimberly (Claudette Buelow) of New York, NY, grandchildren Nicholas, Maddison, Annabelle and Shea, nieces Lisa and Barbara, nephews Keith, Mark, and Martin.    

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