Respected professional accountant James E. Totherow passed away Tuesday morning at River Park Hospital after a brief illness. He was 87.
Totherow was a partner in of the midsouth’s most noted accounting firms, Totherow, Haile and Welch. Involved in the accounting field and working as a certified public accountant for over a half century, he was a founding member of the partnership. The firm has served Warren and surrounding areas for many years under the leadership of Totherow.
“He saw himself as a team leader so we weren’t his employees, we were his co-workers,” said Jim Welch, partner in the company. “If anyone had a problem he would do all he could to help. He was a mentor to all of us.”
Totherow formed the company along with David Lynn in 1963, taking over the former Ernst & Ernst firm. Welch and Wayne Smith joined the company later that same year, their first offices being in the Badger Arcade downtown.
In addition to his business contributions to the community, Totherow served his country during World War II. During the war he served with the U.S. Navy’s Amphibious Forces. Following his time in the war, Totherow continued his military service by taking a leadership role in veteran’s organization.
Along with being a member of VFW Post 5064, he twice served as Commander of American Legion Post 173.
“Back in the war his role was similar to what we know now as a Navy SEAL so he had to be an intelligent individual,” Welch said. “He brought that intelligence into public accounting. He could read and retain law better than anyone I have ever known.”
He and his wife Ophelia were long-time members of First Baptist Church and were actively involved in several aspects of the church.
Obituary information for Mr. Totherow is on page 2A.