Gerald Portney, accounting partner

February 24, 1993|By Staff Report

Gerald G. Portney, a partner in the accounting firm of KPMG Peat Marwick and a former director of the Baltimore district of the Internal Revenue Service, died Sunday of cancer at his home in Potomac. He was 58.

Robert M. Brown, another partner in the accounting firm, said Mr. Portney "was a leader both in the firm and in the IRS who was well-known nationally in the IRS and in the accounting and legal professions."

Mr. Brown said there were few certified public accountants or tax lawyers in the Baltimore area who did not know him.

He said Mr. Portney was as "an incredibly courageous man who fought his disease for 6 1/2 years."

Mr. Brown added, "He was an inspiration in the way he fought and lived life, never stopping and always continuing."

Mr. Portney joined the accounting firm's national tax practice in Washington in 1983 after retiring in 1982 as associate chief counsel of the Internal Revenue Service.

From 1974 to 1979, he was director of the IRS district that includes Maryland and the District of Columbia. He had joined the IRS in Boston in 1957 and was a deputy assistant commissioner in Washington before he was assigned to Baltimore.

In Baltimore, he was president of the United Way of Central Maryland in 1979 and was on the boards of the Baltimore Regional Chapter of the Red Cross, Baltimore New Directions for Women, the Health and Welfare Council of Central Maryland, and the United Service Organizations.

In his final position with the IRS, he was responsible for technical matters including rulings and regulations.

After joining the accounting firm, he testified before congressional committees several times and made direct contributions to the development of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and to penalty-reform legislation.

Born in Stoneham, Mass., Mr. Portney earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Boston University and was a graduate of the Suffolk Law School and of the advanced management program at the Harvard Business School.

He was a member of the American Bar Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Services for Mr. Portney were to be conducted at noon today at the Washington Hebrew Congregation.

He is survived by his wife, the former Clara Knoop; a daughter, Pamela Phipps of Hydes; and two sons, Dean Portney of Gaithersburg and Peter Portney of Boston.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the Jewish Community Hospice, 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville, Md. 20852.

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