Newburyport — Rand H. Ackroyd, 64, of Newburyport, died unexpectedly from surgical complications on Saturday, February 16, 2013, at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.
Rand was born in Lawrence on September 24, 1948, to Theodore and Ethyl (Copeland) Ackroyd. He was educated in the Methuen school systems. He attended Wentworth College and graduated valedictorian of his class. He then attended Northeastern University and earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering. He was employed by Watts Regulator Company from 1972-1997. During this time, Mr. Ackroyd held many positions including Vice President of Codes and Standards and Vice President of Research and Development. Mr. Ackroyd held over 15 patents in backflow prevention valves as well as general plumbing products.
In 1997, he left Watts Regulator to be a stay-at-home Dad to his infant son, Cuyler Ackroyd. During this time, Mr. Ackroyd also started his own technical consulting company, Rand Engineering, Inc. Rand Engineering provided expert witness, forensic and litigation support services in the field of plumbing product performance, specifically with backflow prevention, pressure regulation, temperature control and safety pressure relief valves. Rand Engineering was also actively involved in developing and the updating of plumbing product performance standards, obtaining product approvals and managing the Plumbing and Drainage Institute trade association. Mr. Ackroyd was considered one of the world’s foremost experts in the area of backflow prevention.
He was awarded IAPMO’s Industry Man of the Year in 1996, ASSE’s Fellow Award for Outstanding Contributions in 1998 and ASSE’s Henry B. Davis Award for Meritorious Service in 1999. Mr. Ackroyd was a regular contributor to industry trade journals and lectured nationwide on Backflow Prevention and the Effective Use of Grease Interceptors.
Mr. Ackroyd was a member of many plumbing and heating associations, including American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), American Waterworks Association (AWWA), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA), International Code Council (ICC), Canadian Standards Committee (CSA), International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), Plumbing and Drainage Institute (PDI), University of Southern California Foundation for Cross Connection Control and Hydraulic Research (USCFCCCR) and NSF International.
While Mr. Ackroyd was highly regarded by the plumbing industry for his knowledge, his greatest achievements were his kind and gentle manner, his devotion to his wife and son and other family members and his generosity towards all with his time, talents and treasures. He did so much for so many people, he was always willing to lend a hand when someone needed help. We should all aspire to be so generous and giving.
Mr. Ackroyd had many hobbies and was very artistic and creative. He loved to garden; friends and neighbors would always kid him about how perfect the privet hedges surrounding his home were kept and how lovely he kept all of his gardens and yard. He also enjoyed woodworking and was a very talented finish carpenter. He loved to cook and was a great baker, he and his wife would make hundreds of cookies at Christmas time for friends and neighbors. Rand’s motto was “Life is short, eat dessert first!“ He was also known for his great love for anything chocolate. The Ackroyds loved to entertain and hosted wonderful cookouts, pool and Christmas parties at their home. Mr. Ackroyd taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and Youth Group for many years and was very involved with activities at his church.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Angie; his son, Cuyler, age 16; his mother, Ethyl, and father, Theodore of Dracut; his sister, Ellen and husband, Robert Greenwood of Methuen; his sister, Cherylle and husband, Walter (Skip) Hird of New Bern, N.C.; his nieces, Bethany, Amanda and Melissa Greenwood of Methuen; sister-in-law, Susan and her husband, George Boudreau of Newburyport; nephews, Patrick and William Boudreau of Newburyport; sisters-in-law, Georgia and Eleni Kacher of Newburyport; mother-in-law, Sonia Kacher of Andover; and father-in-law, William Kacher and his wife, Andrea Jones of Newburyport.
ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 21 at Marsh Corner Community Church in Methuen. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Cuyler W. Ackroyd Educational Fund, C/O Northmark Bank, P.O. Box 825, North Andover, MA 01845.