December 3, 1935 - February 26, 2014
Brown, Willard Benjamin, Jr. “Ben” December 3, 1935 – February 26, 2014. and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
Ben grew up in Dallas, Texas and attended Southern Methodist University where he earned a degree in Accounting and Business Administration; was the President of the Beta Alpha Psi-Professional Accounting Fraternity; and a member of the ROTC. It was during college that a ROTC advisor told him if he was going to be a pilot he wanted to fly the fastest plane he could. So began his life-long love of flying. Ben accepted a commission in the United States Air Force and served as a Tactical Fighter Pilot and Flight Instructor, attaining the rank of Captain. After the Air Force, Ben continued flying by going to work for Braniff Airways for 15 years. He enjoyed many hours in the cockpit flying all over the U.S. and on occasion to South America. It was during this time Ben put his accounting degree to use and became licensed as a Certified Public Accountant. When not flying he spent his time building a small but successful accounting practice providing a wide variety of accounting and litigation support services for the past 40 years. Ben was well respected by his accounting peers in Dallas and statewide. He was awarded the Dallas Chapter CPAs Award for Outstanding Contribution to Continuing Professional Education in 1980; Dallas Chapter CPA of the Year in 1987; Dallas Chapter CPAs Outstanding Committee Chairperson in 1998; and the Texas CPAs Presidential Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Continuing Professional Education in 1990. He was a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Dallas Society and Texas Society of CPAs, and the Institute of Management Consultants.
Anyone who knew him knew that Ben always had a story or a joke to tell and a natural ability to tell it well. Ben drew on his own personal experiences to craft a story or a speech that captured your attention and kept you entertained. He enjoyed public speaking, but in the beginning he felt he was not very good so he joined a Toastmasters club. Toastmasters not only gave him a forum in which to hone his speaking skills, but allowed him to mentor new members to improve their own. He was a member of and Past President of the Metro-Speakers Toastmaster Club of Dallas; Past President of the Metrocrest Toastmaster Club of Dallas; and Past President of the National Speakers Association – North Texas Chapter.
Ben is survived by his wife of 57 years, Frances Ann Brown; children Amy Schreiber, Julie and Paul Naughton, Lisa Brown; grandchildren Samantha and Eric Vanstrom, Andrew Schreiber, Keeley Naughton, Katherine Naughton; great-granddaughter Annika Vanstrom; brother Paul Brown and wife Cathy; sister-in-law Susie Johnson and husband Carl; brother-in-law Robert Porter and wife Pauline; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A celebration of life service will be held at 4 pm, March 9th at Unity Church of Dallas, 6525 Forest Ln., Dallas, TX 75230. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
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