George R. Catlett

August 14, 1917October 10, 2013

George R. Catlett, a retired senior partner with Arthur Andersen & Co., died on October 10 in Pewaukee, WI. He was 96 years old. Catlett was one of the leading certified public accountants of his generation, serving initially under the founding partner Arthur Andersen at the Chicago headquarters, and then as a right hand of Leonard Spacek, the long serving chairman of AA & Co. Catlett retired in 1980, one month shy of 40 years at the firm. He and his family lived in Kenilworth and Wilmette for more than 30 years. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, he lived for many years at the Presbyterian Homes in Evanston. In it's 125th anniversary issue of the Journal of Accountancy, the American Institute of CPA's named Catlett one of the top "125 People of Impact in Accounting" since the founding of the AICPA in 1887, along with Andersen and Spacek. Catlett was recognized for his significant role as a member of the Accounting Principles Board from 1965 to 1971, when the Board issued a number of opinions on thorny issues affecting the profession such as pooling of interests and goodwill. He was a co-author of the book Accounting for Goodwill. Catlett was born August 14, 1917 in Fairmount, Illinois. After graduating from the University of Illinois, he was hired by Mr. Arthur Andersen and ultimately worked his way up to senior partner and chairman of the firm's policy committee on professional standards. During World War II, he served as a major in army ordinance. He married Martha Jane Beamsley in 1944. He was President of the Illinois Society of CPA's and Vice President of the AICPA. He was an active supporter of the University of Illinois and served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Athletic Association, was on the board of directors of the Alumni Association, and also was on the board of the University Foundation. He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church and Westmoreland Country Club. Despite a busy career, he always made time for family activities and he loved sports, especially the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Cubs. After 63 years of marriage, Martha Jane died in 2007. He is survived by his four sons - Stan (Donna), Steve (Jan), Larry (Tena), and David (Stephanie), eleven grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren. He is further survived by his sister, Ann Williams of Houston, Texas. A private service will be held for the family. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the New Hope Scholarship Fund of the Presbyterian Homes, 3200 Grant Street, Evanston, Illinois 60201. Information 847-251-8200.


George R. Catlett

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Jim Norris

October 21, 2013

I knew well, admired and enjoyed the counsel of George for many years as his partner at Arthur Andersen & Co. He was truly one of the great partners of the Firm.

October 20, 2013

My sincere sympathy to the George Catlett family.
My father, Willis Leonhardi, worked with & admired Mr. Catlett for many, many years at AA & Co. He was a man of great character; my father spoke highly of him.