Prior to her retirement, Carol was a registered nurse and worked 25 years at UPMC Braddock and the last 14 1/2 years at UPMC McKeesport as a clinician. Carol obtained her basic nursing degree at CCAC South in 1979, her Bachelor's degree in nursing from California University of Pennsylvania in 2005, and her Master's Degree in Nursing Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2007. Carol was also a Certified Medical Surgical Nurse and Certified Gerontology Nurse. Carols was the Chemo Trainer to Trainer on her unit and taught CPR. She was an advocate for the patients for preventing skin breakdown. She published an article titled "Not on my Watch-Preventing Skin Breakdown" in Med/Surg Nursing. She also published a book titled "Chemotherapy for the Medical-Surgical Nurses". Carol was also featured on the cover of Med/Surg Nursing administering chemotherapy to one of her patients. Carol received the Clinical Leadership Award from the Academy of Medical Surgical Nursing in 2011.
She was a member of Christ United Methodist Church, N. Huntingdon and loved to travel to her favorite spots, especially Disney World and taking Disney cruises. Carol was a veteran of the US Army, where she served in Alabama, Missouri and Kansas. She was the first area married woman to join the US Army in 1973 while married to the John A. Orbin. In her memory, her grandson, Lucas Ackerman will receive her flag after the 21 gun salute.
Carol was a loving and devoted mother and grandmother. She is survived by her two best friends; daughter, Dr. Bethany L. Ackerman; and grandson, Lucas G. Ackerman who were her pride and joy. She was so proud of Bethany when she obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in 2018. Lucas was her best friend and advocate while she was undergoing chemotherapy treatments and surgical procedures. He always made her laugh and was truly her “best buddy”. Both were her strongest supporters and were there when she was going through cancer treatments. She is also survived by her two beloved dogs, Skyler and Mickey.
Carol is also survived by her eleven siblings, Linda Penn, Harry (Rosalinda) Ackerman, Patricia (Thomas) Maldonado, Carl (Denise) Ackerman Jr., Allen (Emma) Ackerman, Perry (Donna) Ackerman, Irene Alvarez, Bruce Ackerman, Kathy McNelis, Glenn (Frank), and Roberta (Jon) Rodman. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Our thanks to Carol's PCP Dr. John Smith, her oncologist Dr. Sarah Taylor and the UMPC Magee Gyn/Oncology and Cancer Center for the excellent care she received. We would like to thank Dr. Grace Campbell and Teal Hearts Network (Ovarian Cancer Support Group) for the support and encouragement she received during her illness. Friends will be received from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday and 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. on Friday at the James W. Shirley Funeral Home, 176 Clay Pike, North Huntingdon. The funeral service is private for family members only. Interment will take place in Irwin Union Cemetery on Saturday at 11:15 a.m. In honor of Carol and her courageous battle with ovarian cancer, she has requested that attendees wear teal clothing, if possible. I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. IITimothy 4:7 In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bethany and Lucas Ackerman. www.shirleyfuneralhome.com
Originally published July 22, 2020.