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Published: Tuesday, 3/15/2005

UT professor traveled to 7 continents

Howard Lewis Ness, Sr., 84, a retired University of Toledo professor who had been chairman of its accounting department, maintained his own tax law and tax preparation business, and traveled to all seven continents, died Sunday in Toledo Hospital.

He had used a walker and later a wheelchair since suffering a stroke six years ago, said daughter Kathryn Daschner, whose family lived with him in his Toledo home. He died of pneumonia, she said.

Mr. Ness taught a wide variety of business classes at the university early in his career but concentrated on accounting later.

"They were useful and practical," his daughter said. "He felt like he could prepare kids for something they could get a job in."

He liked working with young people and was involved in campus youth ministries. He retired in the 1980s but continued teaching as a professor emeritus and served as president of the university alumni association.

From his home, Mr. Ness operated a tax law practice and prepared tax returns. He worked mainly for individuals, but was also involved with partnerships and trusts, his daughter said.

He was born in Toledo, the only child of Otto Ness, a foreman at Toledo Scale Co., and his wife, Mabel. He delivered newspapers as a boy and graduated from DeVilbiss High School. He received a business degree from the University of Toledo in 1942 and married the former Joyce Patthey on March 16, 1943, just days before he was deployed with the Navy.

She was an X-ray technician at Toledo Hospital when the couple married. They had known each other in high school, and their first date was the senior prom. She died Sept. 1, 1989.

During World War II, Mr. Ness was an officer in the Pacific. When he returned to the States, he entered graduate school at Northwestern University and received his master's in business administration in 1945. From there, he enrolled in the University of Toledo's College of Law and graduated with honors in 1949. When he took the national exam for certified public accountants in 1951, he won the Elijah Watt Sells silver award by attaining the second highest score in the nation.

He was general counsel for the former Martin Bros. Box Co. in Toledo before he was employed by the university.

Mr. Ness and his wife traveled extensively in the 1970s and 1980s, visiting China and Russia. Most enjoyable to him on such travels was seeing animals in their natural habitat. He was devoted to the Toledo Zoo.

He enjoyed coin and stamp collecting and held University of Toledo season basketball tickets for more than 25 years. He and his wife enjoyed a cottage at Clear Lake, near Angola, Ind., for years.

Surviving are his daughters, Suzanne Klein, Beverly Parke, and Kathryn Daschner; and eight grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today in Hope Lutheran Church. Newcomer Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

The family suggests tributes to the University of Toledo Foundation or the Toledo Zoo.



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