Kirsten E. Acker, 15, of Salem, NH ended her journey with us on January 15th, 2023 at her home surrounded by family. She was born in Derry, NH on January 4th, 2008, to Tracy and Keith Acker. Kirsten, the self-proclaimed “3rd oldest” of 4 children, stood out with her big personality and even bigger heart.
Kirsten made a tremendous impact on those around her, exuding love and kindness to everyone she met. She matured quickly over the last 2 years in her fight against brain cancer and was able to maintain her amazing spirit, positive attitude, sense of humor, and joyful and loving energy. These qualities were contagious to those around her.
Kirsten did not let her diagnosis define her. Despite her treatments, she got high honors in both 7th and 8th grade at Woodbury Middle School. She continued playing field hockey, volunteering in clubs, and traveling with her family as long as her body allowed.
During her illness and through her connection with Make-A-Wish Kirsten found purpose helping kids battling life threatening illnesses. She spoke at fundraising events including the Make-A-Wish Christmas Gala, a Salem High School Key club fundraiser, and Rafting for Wishes. She also helped organize the donation of comfort and activity bags for teens on the Oncology and Pediatric floors of Mass General Hospital for which she received her Girl Scout Silver Award. Additionally, she was interviewed by Boston TV to promote blood collections during the Covid shortage.
Kirsten is survived by her parents, Tracy (Shafer) and Keith Acker; her sister, Julia (19); her 2 brothers Peyton (17) and Reed (9); her “Memo and Papa”, Linda and Jeff Rader of Fort Gratiot, MI; her grandparents, Jane and Griff Acker of Kawkawlin, MI; her grandfather, John Shafer of Farmington Hills, MI; her great-grandmother, Shirley Ruvolo of Fort Gratiot, MI; her many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends; the “McKackersonss” crew; and her beloved cat Smokey (9).
A celebration of Kirsten's life will be on Saturday February 4, 2023 at the Atkinson Country Club, 85 Country Club Drive, Atkinson, NH 03811. Family and friends are invited to a gathering and visitation from 10 am to 11 am at the country club. A celebration of Life service will begin at 11:30 am.
The family extends thanks for all the generosity and support over the past couple years. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in her name to Make-A-Wish NH, an organization near and dear to her heart. They can be mailed to 814 Elm Street, Suite 300, Manchester, NH 03101.
Arrangements are by the Goundrey Dewhirst Funeral Home, 42 Main Street, Salem, NH. To leave an online condolence, please visit Kirsten’s tribute page at www.goundreydewhirstfuneral.com.
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