On Feb. 28, 2012, John H. Gardner passed away in his sleep at the age of 58. He was a dedicated member of the AICPA Tax Division, its Trust, Estate and Gift Tax Technical Resource Panel (TRP) and its many task forces, and the profession. The profession is indebted to him for his passion, vision, and many leadership efforts. He was the driving force behind the enactment in 2001 of the sweeping changes to the generation-skipping transfer tax, including the Sec. 9100 relief provisions, protecting many member accounting firms and other practitioners from potential malpractice lawsuits.
Gardner had tremendous knowledge and enthusiasm for good tax policy and was constantly volunteering his time to improve our tax system. He was a good friend, team player, and leader. He served in many roles for the AICPA, starting in the mid-1990s as a member and then as chair of the AICPA Trust, Estate and Gift Tax TRP from 1998–2000 and, in 2001, as the AICPA Trust, Estate and Gift Tax TRP immediate past chair. He served on many task forces until his death, including the AICPA Charitable Remainder Trust Task Force, Estate Tax Expat Task Force, Form 709 Task Force, and GST Regs Task Force. He also served as a member of the AICPA Business Valuations Standards Task Force from 2002–2007, and the AICPA Tax Legislation and Policy Committee from 2007–2010. He was an excellent educator and speaker as well, serving on the AICPA Advanced Estate Planning Conference Steering Committee and as a popular speaker at that and other conferences.
Gardner worked hard and in many capacities over his career. He was an IRS estate tax attorney and worked in the IRS National Office as well as in the national offices of the multinational accounting firms of Coopers & Lybrand, KPMG, and Arthur Andersen. He enjoyed working with high-net-worth clients as a senior wealth management adviser and planning director at Legg Mason and later at MorganStanley SmithBarney. He was also a partner at the Law Offices of Gardner & Lignos. He will be missed by many of his colleagues, friends, the staff at the AICPA, and the tax profession. All his contributions and memories of him and his work will be treasured for years.
Donations in his memory can be made to St. Ambrose Ladies of Charity, 3107 63d Ave., Cheverly, MD 20785, or Cheverly Boys and Girls Club, 6401 Forest Road, Cheverly, MD 20785. Condolence cards that will be forwarded to his family can be sent c/o Eileen Sherr, AICPA, 1455 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20004-1081.