Smeal mourns death of longtime accounting faculty member Charles Enis

Steven Huddart, chair of the Penn State Department of Accounting, remembers a longtime colleague:

Professor Charles R. Enis, a 34-year member of the department, died of cancer at his home on Nov. 25. He was 69.

Charles was an expert in taxation, public policy, and judgment and decision-making in accounting.

He was born in Baltimore and earned his undergraduate, MBA, and doctoral degrees, all from the University of Maryland. He was also a certified public accountant. He joined Penn State in 1981.

He authored more than 90 publications, including more than 30 articles in scholarly journals such as Accounting, Organizations, and Society; Decision Sciences; the Journal of Accounting Research; and the Journal of the American Taxation Association.

Charles was devoted to his students and would try to involve them in tax law considerations drawn from his own life. He loved to vacation in Ocean City, Maryland, where he had a home. He drove a 1973 Eldorado convertible. These facts were prominent in the tax cases he wrote for his students to analyze.  Were improvements to the vacation property tax deductible? How many days could the property be rented in a year without attracting tax?

Ed Ketz, associate professor of accounting, remembers Charles as a walking encyclopedia of tax knowledge. For any tax question, Charles knew the answer, the relevant code section, and even the form.

Charlie Smith, KPMG Professor Emeritus of Accounting, said he was friends with Charles since the late 1980s.

“I love all-rounders, and Charles was very clearly an all-rounder. He was very bright, and he enjoyed his teaching and research,” Smith said. “And then there were those enjoyable softball practices and matches — faculty and Ph.D. students — and social outings. Charles Enis was a true friend whom I shall never forget.”

Charles’ encyclopedic knowledge extended to three other subjects: baseball, pharmaceuticals, and ballroom dancing. He was a lifelong Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals supporter and a hard-playing member of the Department of Accounting's softball team. He served as a pharmacy specialist in the Army and Army Reserve at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. And, he loved ballroom dancing with his wife, Gloria.

Many of us were able to pay our respects at the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery where Charles was buried with military honors. Others gathered at his favorite bar, Otto’s, to swap our many stories about Charles.

He is survived by Gloria; his son, Mark; daughter, Megan May; and two grandchildren.

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Last Updated December 14, 2015