Robert L. Kvam, 1920 — Sept. 19, 2013, of Columbia

Sunday, September 22, 2013 | 6:18 p.m. CDT

Robert L. Kvam, professor emeritus of accountancy at the University of Missouri, passed away on September 19 at Lenoir Woods after a short illness. He was 92.

Robert Kvam was born in 1920 to Anton Kvam and Ora Rockwell Kvam in Sioux City, Iowa. His parents were musicians and he loved music his whole life. He began playing trumpet at age five, playing in some of the first jazz bands at his South Sioux City Nebraska High School. He enjoyed playing dance band music professionally with his friends and brother at this time.

After attending Midland College for one year, Robert enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943, graduating from Basic Training and receiving his wings. He then transferred to the Army Signal Corps where he was stationed in Liege, Belgium, until 1946. From 1945-1946, Bob enjoyed performing in an American dance band in Liege.

Following the end of World War II, he received his B.S. degree in accounting at the University of South Dakota in 1949. His first position was chief accountant for Equity Creameries in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Robert married Betty Gustavson on September 23, 1950, in Sioux City, Iowa. They began their life together in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Bob worked as a staff accountant and auditor for Strand & Roe accounting firm. In 1952, he completed his M.S. degree in accounting at the University of Colorado. Following this, Robert relocated to Louisiana State University where he was an instructor of accounting, earning his C.P.A. Certificate in 1955 and his Ph.D. in accounting in 1957.

In 1957, Robert became a professor of accounting at Michigan State University, teaching many undergraduate courses and graduate seminars in auditing. Following this he moved to Columbia, Missouri, in 1960 to begin his professorship in accounting at the University of Missouri. Throughout most of his career, he taught advanced accounting, auditing and consolidated statements. He also led special seminars on generally accepted accounting practices each year until his retirement in 1985. He began the Honors program at the School of Accountancy.

While at the University of Missouri, Robert Kvam edited the “Collected Writings of DR Scott,” Lucas Brothers publishers, 1964. His professional affiliations included the Missouri Society of CPAs, with memberships on various committees and participation on the Board of Directors. He was coordinator of elementary and intermediate accounting classes and the Master Accountancy degree program. Robert served as a member and chairman on many Ph.D. committees as well as faculty sponsor for Beta Alpha Psi. Honors include being named a distinguished alumnus at the University of South Dakota, being “tapped” as member of QEBH, University of Missouri honorary, being named Professor of the Semester twice by university accounting students and being voted a Life Member of the Missouri State Society of Public Accountants.

Bob was a long-time member of the St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, where he served several terms on the Church Council and provided financial guidance. He was also a member of the Twilight Optimist Club, serving a term as president. Robert was a long-time supporter of the Missouri Symphony Society and provided accounting consultation in the 1970s.

After retirement, Bob enjoyed attending music concerts and traveling with his wife, Betty. He also enjoyed playing tennis and golf. In later years, he took daily walks, participated in various activities at eh Senior Center and met with friends for brunch and coffee at a local café.

Robert Kvam was preceded in death by his wife, Betty, in 1990, his brother, John Kvam of Edina, MN, and brothers-in-law, Oliver and Clifford Gustavson of Sioux City, IA.

He is survived by his three children: Janet Kvam-Holub of Woodstock, IL, her husband Roy Holub and daughter Katy; Nancy Kvam of Santa Cruz, CA, and long-time friend, Guy Neenan of San Jose, CA; Kenneth Kvam, his wife, Wendy Warnken Kvam, and children, Lauren and Eric, of Columbia; and sisters-in-law, Dorothy Kvam, Minneapolis, MN, Twila Gustavson, Sioux City, IA, and Joan Gustavson of Sioux City, IA.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11 AM Wednesday, September 25, 2013, at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 914 West Boulevard S, Columbia, Missouri 65203.

Memorial Contributions can be made to the University of Missouri jazz program.

Tributes can be left online at

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