Washington (May 6, 2003) -- Francis R. Isbell, a CPA and tax lawyer who retired in 1998 after nearly 14 years with the Waldorf, Md.-based accounting firm Ferreira & Isbell, died of pneumonia April 13 at his home in Kensington, Md.

Isbell, 86, founded his small firm in 1985 with partner David M. Ferreira. The two first met in 1971 when they worked for the New York CPA firm Westheimer, Fine, Berger, & Co., which later merged with Elmer Fox & Co. to become Elmer Fox Westheimer & Co. That firm is now part of Deloitte & Touche.

“He was a most honest, highly respected individual,” said Ferreira. “I know many CPAs that learned the profession from him.”

Earlier in his career, Isbell worked for the Internal Revenue Service. He then co-founded the now dissolved Washington accounting firm Goldstein, Isbell & Co.

Isbell stepped away from public accounting between 1962 and 1968 when he served as vice president of finance for Electronic Wholesalers Inc., a subcontractor supplier in Washington.

A native of Washington, Isbell graduated from Central High School, Benjamin Franklin University and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He was also a member of the Optimist Club.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Jeanne P. Isbell; three sons, a daughter,; a stepson, a sister, seven grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

-- Seth Fineberg

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