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Published: Saturday, 4/12/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

William F. Schmeltz; 1924-2014: Accountant was business dean at BGSU

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

BOWLING GREEN — William F. Schmeltz, a certified public accountant and a former Bowling Green State University business dean who continued to inspire his students, died Friday at home. He was 89.

He’d been ill about three months and developed complications from pneumonia, his wife, Peggy, said.

Mr. Schmeltz, a BGSU faculty member from 1947-75, was a BGSU trustee professor emeritus of accounting and management information systems.

Just this decade, alumni of his accounting courses helped create an endowed teaching professorship in Mr. Schmeltz’s name.

Another alumnus created a Schmeltz scholarship for master of business administration and master of accountancy students.

“He was very honored,” said his daughter Jan Bower, who joined his accounting practice after becoming a CPA. “He was excellent at opening doors for students, into graduate schools, jobs.

“He was excellent at encouraging people, making accounting fun to learn. He had a way of bringing real-world experience to the classroom. Instead of teaching from the book, he would teach from the practical side,” she said.

Mr. Schmeltz became chairman of the BGSU accounting department in 1951. He was a nominee in 1954 to be selected as a U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Young Man.

He became dean of the college of business administration in 1960. He was coordinator of military affairs as well.

“He moved up the ranks very fast,” his wife said.

He was noted for expanding international opportunities for students, but he also brought his expertise to the world stage.

For seven months, he was director of business at Catholic University in Puerto Rico. He was among business deans selected to spend time in Sweden.

In the 1980s, he advised business leaders in China on investing.

For several years after retiring from BGSU, he flew to Air Force bases around the country under the auspices of Southern Illinois University, teaching officers who were master of business administration candidates.

Mr. Schmeltz was a former president of the Toledo chapter of the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. He was active for many years in the National Association of Investment Clubs.

He was born Nov. 30, 1924, in Toledo to Augusta and William H. Schmeltz, who was a CPA. He was a graduate of Libbey High School and a Navy veteran of World War II, serving as a supply officer in the South Pacific.

Numbers interested him even as a boy.

He accompanied his father on client visits across northwest Ohio.

Mr. Schmeltz received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo.

He received his master of business administration degree from Harvard University and a doctorate from Case Western Reserve University.

Mr. Schmeltz retired about five years ago from what had become Schmeltz and Bower CPAs.

He was owner for a time of Rold-Rite Metal Products in Genoa.

His daughter Jan’s first client was his first client years earlier, Seeger Metals and Plastics in Toledo. And it was the first client for granddaughter Ashly Bower, now in the family practice. The licenses of four generations of CPAs hang in the Schmeltz and Bowers office, said his daughter Jan, whose son, Brandon, is about to take his CPA exam.

Surviving are his wife, Peggy, whom he married Jan. 24, 1948; son, Randolph Schmeltz; daughters, Catherine Schmeltz, Dr. Christine Ellis, and Janet Bower; half-brother, Gerald Calkins; 12 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Deck-Hanneman Funeral Home, Bowling Green, where services will be at 11 a.m. Monday.

The family suggests tributes to the William F. Schmeltz Professorship through the BGSU Foundation or St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Bowling Green, where he was a member.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.



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