William A. Gifford Jr. (Bill) passed away peacefully on Dec. 25, 2018, at age 82. Born March 13, 1936, Mr. Gifford was a long-time Evanstonian. He attended Lincoln Elementary School, Nichols Middle School and Evanston Township High School (class of 1954), where he was a member of the ETHS swimming team. He attended Northwestern University’s School of Business (now Kellogg School of Management), graduating in 1958 with a degree in accounting.
After graduation, Mr. Gifford joined Glenn Ingram & Company, an accounting firm in downtown Chicago. In 1963 he became a Certified Public Accountant, focusing on individual income tax preparation and financial consulting. He became a partner in the firm in the late 1960s. From 1963 on Mr. Gifford was active in the Illinois CPA Society (ICPA), serving on many ICPA committees. He was treasurer of the organization from 1978-1981 and president from 1996-1997. He retired from Mazars LLP in 2015.
Mr. Gifford loved and enjoyed his large extended family. He married his high school sweetheart, Carolyn DeSwarte, in 1955. They had three boys: Michael (Hillary), Dave and Peter (Elizabeth). Mr. Gifford’s immediate family spent summers at the Giffords’ vacation home on Channel Lake in Antioch, Ill., surrounded by Mr. Gifford’s grandparents, parents, his brother Jack (Marge), his sister Mary, and many aunts, uncles
and cousins. There Mr. Gifford taught his boys
how to swim, handle a boat and water ski,
a sport he loved and at which he excelled.
Mr. Gifford also loved Evanston – his home town – and believed that it was important to give back to the community in which he lived. As he pursued his accounting career, he developed financial expertise that he shared with many Evanston organizations, including the McGaw YMCA and SASI (Services for Adults Staying in their Homes) as board member, treasurer and chair. He was a financial advisor to Connections for the Homeless and Interfaith Action of Evanston.
He also served on boards of organizations beyond Evanston: the Palliative Care Center of the North Shore (now JourneyCare), United Theological Seminary (Dayton, Ohio) and the Parliament of the World’s Religions (Chicago).
Mr. Gifford’s enthusiasm for Chicago sports teams was boundless. He rooted for the Cubs, Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, and Northwestern’s football and basketball teams; he was overjoyed when the Cubs finally won the World Series in 2016.
He was a faithful member of the Church in the Chapel Community of Alice Millar Chapel at Northwestern University. His memorial service will take place at Millar Chapel at 10 a.m. on Feb. 2. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to McGaw YMCA (mcgawymca.org), SASI (sasiathome.org) or JourneyCare (journeycare.org).