Earl Ray Wilson

December 19, 1939January 17, 2021

Earl R. Wilson of Columbia, Missouri died at the University Hospital on January 17, following hospitalization for the Covid-19 virus. He was born on December 19, 1939 at his grandparents' home in Butler County, Missouri.

Earl joined the Navy in 1957. He met the love of his life, his wife, Flo, while he was stationed in Newfoundland, Canada, and they enjoyed 60 years of marriage together. He served four years in the Navy and another sixteen years in the Airforce, including a yearlong deployment during the Vietnam War. He earned a Bronze Star for his work on radio equipment for the 307th Strategic Wing. Flo and Earl had two daughters, and the family moved around frequently and spent many months apart during his military career. While in the Airforce, Earl earned his bachelor’s degree and an MBA. After Earl retired from the military, the family made a final move to Columbia, where he began working on his Masters and PhD, both in accounting at the University of Missouri. He held a teaching position at the University first as a graduate teaching assistant, then as graduate instructor, transitioning to an assistant professor and then associate professor, and he became a permanent faculty member in 1993. He became the Director of the School of Accountancy in 1996, earning Distinguished Director between 2000 and 2002 and earning Professor Emeritus in 2003.

Throughout his academic career, Earl made a big impact on his students and colleagues and co-authored several textbooks. He was well known for his corny jokes, which always got a laugh from his students, children and grandchildren. Earl loved teaching and never missed an opportunity to help his grandchildren learn something new. He was loved dearly by his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, who adored his silly antics.

Earl is survived by his daughters, Pamela Wilson and Kimberly (husband, John) Hiley, Columbia, MO; grandchildren, Heather (husband, Matt) Gazda, Suffolk, VA, and Brandon Pepper, Roswell, NM; great-grandchildren, Zake and Byron Pepper, Richlands, NC, and Connor and Sophia Gazda, Suffolk, Va; sisters, Tracy (husband, Richard) Gant and Dorothy (husband, Gary) Crites; and two nephews, Chris Halcomb and Randy (wife, Debbie) DesGranges. He was preceded in death by his wife, Flo Wilson; his parents, John and Lola Mae Wilson; his brother, Jimmy Wilson, and one granddaughter, Hilary Wilson.

A memorial service will be held at a later date when it is safer to gather. In lieu of flowers, gifts will be appreciated to the Earl R. Wilson Doctoral Scholarship in Accountancy at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Checks should be mailed to Mizzou Advancement, 407 Reynolds Alumni Center, Columbia, MO 65211, indicating Earl’s scholarship fund. Alternatively, contributions to a local food bank in Earl’s memory will be appreciated.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Earl Ray Wilson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Betty Bluedorn

February 4, 2021

Earl was always so kind to we ladies sitting in the kitchen having tea with Flo. He told a few jokes and then headed upstairs to his office.
Usually he was just returning from his golf game and shared a bit with us about his golf game.

I miss tea with Flo and those interactions with Earl. They were great people and Earl so well thought of at the College of Business where he was a colleague of my husband.

My sympathy goes to all the family.

Allen Bluedorn

February 1, 2021

Earl and I were faculty colleagues in the Trulaske College of Business at MU for nearly 40 years. Over that span I came to appreciate Earl for his professionalism and genuine humanity. I was saddened to learn of Earl’s passing, which happened just a few days after that of his wife, Flo. I will miss them both.

Karen Brammer (Staggs)

January 29, 2021

I worked in the School of Accountancy for over 27 years, Dr. Wilson was one of my favorite faculty members and later Director. My most favorite story he used to tell at our holiday luncheons was how they didn't have enough money to cook a big dinner so they had fried bologna for their holiday meal, when he was a kid. He always knew how to add a comical spin to all of his stories. My heart hurts to hear of his and Flo's passing. They both were well-loved individuals.

Jenice Prather-Kinsey

January 28, 2021

I am sorry to learn of the home-going of Earl Wilson. Earl mentored me while I was a junior faculty member at Mizzou. He and Flo often visited our home and we would their's. Flo would be the life of the party. Of course Earl had his own sense of humor. Earl was my friend and supporter when others were not. In fact, my first top tier or "A" journal publication was under the direction of Earl. He required you to work hard, but he required the same of himself. I felt like Earl was a God sent angel to me because he helped and supported in securing my promotion to associate professor with tenure in the School of Accountancy. The Wilson family has my deepest sympathy. May God grant you peace during your time of bereavement.

Dale Rude

January 28, 2021

Mari and are deeply saddened by the passing of Earl and Flo. I was on the Mizzou faculty with Earl from 1982-1989. I remember Earl as one of the most competent people I have ever met. I remember Flo's sense of humor (especially the Newfie jokes) and love of all things fun. The Earl and Flo pic is from one of Nerd Parties which Mari and I hosted in the mid 80s.
Dale Rude

Vairam Arunachalam

January 27, 2021

Dear Kim, Heather, Pam, and Wilson family,

We are deeply saddened by Earl and Flo's passing. On behalf of my Mizzou faculty/staff colleagues and alumni, I extend our deepest condolences to you and family.

Earl was an excellent professional and human being. As a colleague and later as Director of the School of Accountancy, he always exemplified character, dignity, leadership, and a supportive mindset in everything that he did. He exhibited great passion and spirit for teaching, research, and service. He was such a great role model and mentor to so many.

Flo was equally enthusiastic about life and people. She was such an integral part of all our School of Accountancy events for many years. Her kindness, cheer, and humor left indelibly positive memories in people's minds.

Earl and Flo will be deeply missed. They have left lasting memories in the minds of so many people who were fortunate to know them in their journey through life. We will keep them and you in our thoughts and prayers during these difficult times.

With our deepest sympathies and condolences,
Vairam & Alagu Arunachalam

Phyllis Moore

January 27, 2021

I was so sorry to hear about the passing of both Dr. Wilson and Flo. I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Wilson as the accounting advisor at MU. He had a great sense of humor and was always very supportive and helpful. Glad that I got to know Flo as well.

I know you have many fond memories of them and all of their accomplishments. They made an impact on many lives. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you move forward during this difficult time.

My deepest sympathy,
Phyllis Moore

Bruce and Pam Walker

January 26, 2021

Kim and Pam -- We are so sad that your mother and father have passed away. We knew Flo and Earl through the U. of Missouri business school. Earl had many accomplishments as a faculty member (including his government accounting textbook) and as director of the School of Accountancy and was a really good man. Flo was a gracious and wonderful lady who also was very accomplished.

We hope you find some consolation in memories of fun times with your parents, We will keep them, you, and other members of the Wilson family in our thoughts and prayers.

Bruce and Pam Walker

Heather Gazda

January 26, 2021

PART 2 of the write up...

During his career Earl served as both the Joseph A. Silvoso Distinguished Director and the KPMG Peat Marwick/Joseph A. Silvoso Distinguished Professor in the School of Accountancy. He was an active member of many government related organizations and served the Government Accounting Standards Board in several capacities. He remained actively involved with the Missouri Society of CPAs even after retirement. A few of his many accomplishments included: academic fellow with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB); member of the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council, the U.S. Comptroller General’s Advisory Council on Governmental Auditing Standards, and the American Institute of CPAs Government Accounting and Auditing Committee; president of the American Accounting Association Government and Nonprofit (AAA-GNP) section; recipient of the enduring Lifetime Contribution Award from the AAA-GNP section; and recipient of the Cornelius Tierney/Ernst & Young Research Award from the Association of Government Accountants.

Heather Gazda

January 26, 2021

Sharing a short piece Earl requested (in the hospital) his colleague, Jackie Resk, write up to summarize his academic career...

Earl R. Wilson earned his PhD at the University of Missouri where he then joined the faculty. He quickly earned a national reputation for his research in the municipal bond market. With numerous research publications focused on the municipal bond market, he provided insight into this large and understudied market. Publishing in such prestigious journals as The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Research, Contemporary Accounting Research, and the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, his research is highly cited by fellow academics and has been used by government standard-setting bodies in their deliberative processes.

His passion for learning and research acumen led him to serve on more than 30 doctoral committees, helping successfully launch the careers of many professors. However, his commitment to learning extended beyond working with doctoral students to teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His interest and expertise in the government and nonprofit sector resulted in his being asked to join the author team on the Accounting for Governmental & Nonprofit Entities textbook. During his tenure as the lead author of the textbook it was the leading government/nonprofit textbook in the nation and continues to hold that distinction. His innovative ideas and commitment to quality strongly contributed and continue to influence the success and reputation of the textbook.