Dr. Otto Sjouke Akkerman was born on November 5th, 1922 in Zwolle, Overijssel, The Netherlands. Dr. Akkerman’s parents were Rein Akkerman and the former Maria Steenbergen. He had a older sister named Gerry Rinske Akkerman. Dr. Akkerman was educated in the Zwolle Public School system.
Dr. Akkerman attended pre-med courses from 1941 to 1943 at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. For the next two years he was a member of the Dutch Resistance until the end of WWII. He went back to Medical School from 1945 until 1950, graduating M.D. on July 9th, 1950. Dr. Akkerman was a First Lieutenant in the Netherlands Army and was posted to Dutch New Guinea as the Officer of Health from 1950 to 1952.
Dr. Akkerman immigrated to Canada in 1952 and he did a Junior Internship at Hotel Dieu Hospital, in Windsor, Ontario. In 1954 he received his L.M.C.C. in Toronto and he opened a general medical practice in Chatham in August of that year. Dr. Akkerman’s office was initially located at 117 William St., South, but he eventually re-located his office to 575 Queen Street. He resided at 920 Queen Street.
In 1957 Dr. Akkerman was appointed Honorary Vice-Consul of the Netherlands. Dr. Akkerman spoke fluent Dutch, German and English.
Dr. Akkerman was a member of the Canadian Reformed Church of Chatham. He enjoyed carpentry, photography, gardening and model trains.
Dr. Akkerman died on the 14th of August, 1993 and he was buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham. Dr. Akkerman never married.