William Fowler Ezzell Jr.

June 3, 1949April 28, 2018
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William F. Ezzell Jr. passed away on April 28, 2018 in Arlington, Virginia surrounded by family and friends. Bill was born in Burlington, North Carolina in 1949. He served in the 101st Airborne during the Vietnam War and received the Bronze Star, Air Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal for Valor. He then graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was married in 1970 to Rebecca Burch who predeceased him in 2013. They lived in Greensboro, N.C. where he began his career as a CPA for Haskins & Sells. Bill and his family relocated to Arlington, Virginia in 1986 where he went on to lead the legislative and regulatory activities for Deloitte LLP until he retired in 2012. Bill worked closely with the accounting profession and Congress on enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. From 1998 through 2004, Bill was a member of the Board of Directors of the AICPA and served as its Chairman from 2002-2003. He served on the Board of Trustees of the AICPA Foundation and was its President from 2006-2009. Under Bill’s leadership the AICPA Foundation developed a program to support an incremental increase in the number candidates seeking PhDs in accounting and tax. In 2009 Bill received the AICPA’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Service to the Profession. During his retirement he continued to support the academic community and was the commencement speaker for the 2015 graduating class of the Master of Accounting Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Bill is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Julie & Matthew Ross and Jennifer & Cort Stowe; three beloved grandchildren, Benjamin M. Ross, Abigail M. Ross, and Evelyn R. Stowe; sister and brother-in-law, Jan & Harry Campbell; second love Cynthia Lund; as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Bill was a fierce advocate for the CPA profession, especially for students on the pathway to becoming a CPA and the educators who teach them. In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Bill’s commitment to accounting education may be made to either the North Carolina CPA Foundation, PO Box 80188, Raleigh NC 27623, or to the AICPA Foundation, 220 Leigh Farm Road, Durham NC 27707. Memorial gifts are also welcome at Capital Caring Hospice, 2900 Telestar Court, Falls Church, VA 22042.

Funeral services will be conducted May 6th, 2018 at 1 pm at the National Funeral Home (7482 Lee Highway Falls Church, VA 22042). A reception will follow.


  • Memorial Service Sunday, May 6, 2018
  • Reception Sunday, May 6, 2018

William Fowler Ezzell Jr.

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Rick Williams

July 10, 2018

I worked with your dad many years ago at Deloitte. He taught me a lot and I was glad I was able to work with him. I'm sorry to hear of your loss.
Rick Williams

Barbara Fowler Murray

June 9, 2018

Hello Jan,
Recently, I learned about Billy's death. I know he will be missed by his family and friends. I read his obituary on the Internet; it was beautiful. I am so glad Billy's life was filled with so much love and he had such a successful career. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts as all of you face this most difficult time.
Barbara Fowler Murray (I was a classmate of Billy's at BSJH and WHS).

Kathy and Ernie Almonte

May 15, 2018

To Bill's family....we are just so heartbroken over Bill's passing. The first time I (Kathy) met Bill he was on a croquet field dressed all in white. I thought he must be a very formal Southern man. Oh, wow!! He was the kindest, sweetest man...but NOT formal. He always made us laugh...and think!! I can't look at a hotel alarm clock without thinking of Bill. He was such warm and loving man with a huge heart. He cared so much about his family, friends and the accounting profession.

We will miss him forever and remember him always! He took a piece of our hearts with him. Bill, you've made our lives better for having walked a while with us.

Kathy and Ernie Almonte

Dan Deines

May 8, 2018

Bill was a kind, insightful and joyful man who wanted to make a difference. These characteristics created the most enthusiastic champion for the accounting profession and the education of accounting professionals I ever met. I experienced this first hand with his support for the Accounting Pilot and Bridge Project. His contributions were critical in developing this pathway between high school and university accounting education.

I loved being around Bill. He always had a smile and was genuinely glad to see me. Our conversation were fun and always stimulating . Whether talking about horses, family, friends, or accounting education, it was always special. He made a significant difference in my life and I am so thankful he was a friend and colleague. The accounting profession has lost a great person and leader. His personal and professional contributions will shape the accounting profession for years to come. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Cindy Stevens

May 5, 2018

Bill supporting Cindy Stevens promotion to partner—2007.

Cindy Stevens

May 5, 2018

2007 Bill supporting Cindy Stevens promotion to partner

Cindy Stevens

May 5, 2018

Bill supporting Cindy Stevens promotion to partner—2007.

Mark Gitenstein

May 5, 2018

This is the first I've heard that Bill was a member of the 101st Airborne, that he jumped out of airplanes. I'm not surprised. He was courageous, smart and loyal. For the profession he was the first to strap on his helmet and chute. We worked together extensively in the 1990's and early 2000's. I'll miss his humor and warmth.

Dana Rubenstein

May 4, 2018

Sharon Bryson

May 3, 2018

Bill and Sharon at AICPA Fall Council, San Antonio
October 2017