Celebration of Life

1935 – 2023

Leonard Williams, 88, of Sunnyvale, CA, passed away on September 5, 2023. Mission Society would not exist without him, and we will forever be grateful to him.

Leonard founded the Mission Society of Enrolled Agents (MSEA) in 1972, beginning with eight enrolled agents meeting at Zorba the Greek’s Restaurant, joining to build a community of tax professionals dedicated to excellence in taxpayer service and continuing professional development. He was the first president of the MSEA. Leonard was also on the founding board for the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), serving as Vice President, when it began in 1972 in Hawthorne, California. He went on to become President of NAEA in 1974.

In addition to being involved in MSEA and NAEA, he was involved in the California CPA Education Foundation and CalCPA. Williams was president of CalCPA’s Peninsula Silicon Valley Chapter (1993-93), chair of the chapter’s Tax Committee, and chair of the AICPA Tax Determination Subcommittee.

In 2006, he was awarded CalCPA’s Committee on Taxation’s annual Saul Braverman Award, for his exceptional contributions to our profession. He was awarded MSEA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, given to members whose efforts have contributed to enhancing enrolled agents and MSEA.

Leonard owned a thriving tax practice in Sunnyvale, which employed many enrolled agents and CPAs. He taught as an adjunct faculty member for California State University, Hayward (now California State University, East Bay). Community colleges valued him as a speaker on tax matters. He wrote the “California Tax” column for California CPA, CalCPA’s monthly magazine.  Leonard was a sought-after author for other professional and industry journals and magazines.

He mentored many enrolled agents and encouraged them to be leaders. They include Mona Dawn Edwards, EA (MSEA’s president for two governance years), Lynn Telford, EA, and David Hatt, EA (former President of NAEA). His mentees and associates benefited from his promotion of networking and professionalism. Leonard instilled in enrolled agents that we are professionals, so we should charge our clients as professionals. Many of his employees are indebted to him for encouraging them to go out independently.

Leonard had an extensive collection of fire engines he would purchase and restore. On occasion, he would ride these engines in parades. He was an avid supporter of firefighters and had a food truck he would bring to fire sites to feed firefighters.

October 31, 1960 – October 10, 2022

Jim was a very active member of Mission Society even before becoming an Enrolled Agent. He became a member before he received his enrollment card, winning the Booster of the Year award in 2009. He was involved in many committees, including the committee chair for many years for the education and membership committees. If you came to an event, you saw Jim as he took care of getting you signed in, making sure everyone got their meal tickets and CE Certificates. He also took care of pre-event registrations and post-event submissions for CE. He received Rookie of the Year in 2013 and 2014, EA of the Year in 2017, and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.

Jim was always happy and willing to do whatever it took to help Mission Society. If you needed or wanted a joke, Jim was the person to see. They were mostly “Dad” type jokes, many of them originals. Tell someone a joke today in memory of Jim. He loved music and theater, participating in San Jose State University’s Choraliers and the Choral Project.

Jim began his career as a tax preparer in 1983, coming from a family of tax preparers. His parents, older brothers, and two of his eldest sisters were all tax preparers. Jim took over part of his brother Ken Jenks’ practice when he retired, expanding his practice to over 400 clients.

In November 2012, he received his EA credential, allowing him to provide greater taxpayer advocacy and the ability to negotiate with the IRS on behalf of his clients.

November 1941 – September 2022

Fred Jager, a resident of The Villages in San Jose since 2005, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and passed away at age 80 in Good Samaritan Hospital in early September. He was predeceased by his wife Kathy, who passed in March 2021. He is survived by his daughters, Erin of Vancouver, Washington, and Erica of Sunnyvale, as well their spouses and children. Fred is also survived by his sister Cynthia Woolverton (husband Paul) of Keaau, Hawaii; nephew John Woolverton (wife Laieikawai) of Hilo, Hawaii; nephew Adam Woolverton (wife Mari) of Seattle, Washington; five great-nephews and great-nieces; as well as cousin Norma Erdely and cousin/godson Richard Erdely, both of Fairview Park, Ohio. Fred graduated from Arizona State University in 1964, where he was a member of Theta Chi fraternity. He had long and successful careers with IBM and Hewlett Packard, retiring from both after positions in Cleveland, Columbus, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and finally in San Jose. Fred also operated a thriving income tax business in San Jose, offering tax preparation and planning services, until his death. From an early age, Fred was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout in his late teens. He was a life-long supporter of the organization and of the Cleveland Indians. He read voraciously, loved science fiction, and was known as the family’s “chief pontificator and knower-of-all-things” with a limitless store of trivia. Memorial services will be held in Hawaii and Ohio at a later date. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and all who knew him.

Fred contributed to the success of Mission Society since he joined in 1986 and was active in the organization until just before he passed. He served on the Board of Directors for many years and on the Education and Membership Committees. Fred once chaired our summer mini-seminar series. He was always available to help whenever and wherever we needed him. He is remembered fondly at MSEA as a “pontificator”, much as he was in his family.

August 18, 1941 – March 22, 2021

Myra J. Thompson entered into rest on March 22, 2021, surrounded by family. She was 79 years old. Myra was born in Southern California but spent the majority of her life in San Jose. She loved her cousins, aunts, uncles–she was very close to family.

Myra was an Enrolled Agent (tax professional) since 1981 and sole proprietor of Thompson Tax Service for over 20 years. She was a member of the Mission Society of Enrolled Agents (MSEA), the California Society of Enrolled Agents (CSEA), and the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA). At MSEA, Myra held roles as President-elect Education Chair, Membership Chair, and MSEA Director. She was CSEA Director, twice.

Myra started her tax career in the early 1980s, working for H&R Block in Santa Clara. From there, she worked as a Manager for United Tax Service (a subsidiary of 1st Nationwide Bank), managing seven bank branches from San Mateo to Los Banos. Her career then took her to KPMG, where she was a Senior Tax Analyst in the Expatriate Tax Group. She retired from Intel Corporation as a Senior Tax Analyst in the Expatriate Tax Group.

She was a world traveler. Myra valued her sobriety and was approaching 40 years of being in the AA program. Throughout the years, she made lifelong friends and helped others with their own journey, as a sponsor. Myra enjoyed golf, and played on a women’s golf team at The Villages country club.

Myra is survived by her two of her three children, Timothy Aguilar and Monique Morales, both from San Jose. She is joined in eternity with her son, Richard Aguilar, who preceded her in death.

July 28, 1951-Aug. 3, 2019

Jill Mendenhall died on Saturday, August 3rd, in her Mountain View home, after a long battle with metastasis of breast cancer. She had just turned 68. A longtime resident of Mountain View, Palo Alto, and the greater Bay Area, Jill was born in Riverside but never lived there. As a “military brat,” she grew up in a half-dozen other states before returning to Santa Maria and then La Habra, where she attended high school. Jill attended Santa Monica College, University of California Santa Cruz, and UCLA. She studied dance, environmental studies, and earned a Bachelor fo Science in Kinesiology. She also studied bio-mechanical engineering, bookkeeping, HR compensation, and income tax preparation, getting her Enrolled Agent status from the Internal Revenue Service. Jill was a board member of the California Society of Enrolled Agents. Jill had her own tax preparation business in Mountain View. However, her career spanned many businesses – Control Data, Seagate, Incyte Genomics, ALZA Corporation, MyCFO, TaxMam, Center for Independence of the Disabled, and UCSF. Jill enjoyed the Arts, travel, gardening, movies, and a good book; she was a voracious reader. Known for her gracious warmth and incredible smile, she was once a Dale Carnegie trainer and hosted a ToastMasters Club in Palo Alto. Jill is survived by her dear sisters, Jacquie and Joleen, and her beloved husband, Michael.

Jill was a very active colleague in the Mission Society of Enrolled Agents (MSEA) and the California Society of Enrolled Agents (CSEA). She served on the Board for both MSEA and at the state level for the CSEA. MSEA recognized her exemplary service when we awarded her Enrolled Agent of the Year for 2007-2008. MSEA again commended her indispensable contributions in 2016, when we gave her the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jill started a Special Interest Group (SIG) for new Enrolled Agents in the Mission Society. She also moderated the Palo Alto SIG for MSEA. Without her intervention, the Palo Alto SIG would no longer exist. She worked diligently to revive these meetings, including finding a venue, arranging speakers, and attending to all the necessary details to make these meetings possible. Also, she served as the CSEA representative for MSEA. Moreover, she was an invaluable asset as a member of the Membership Committee, agreeing in 2006-2007 to be a Co-Chair and then in 2007-2008 serving as the Chair.

August 25, 1933 – December 14, 2019

A long-time resident of San Jose, John “Jack” Oliver passed peacefully at home on December 14th, 2019, after a lengthy illness.

Devoted husband to wife of 33 years Mariel Oliver, John is survived by his son Bill Oliver of San Jose; daughter Kristy Willman of San Jose, and her three children, Johnny, Jacob and Julia; daughter Pam Oliver of Anacortes, WA and her two children Cody and Bobbi-Lee and three great-grandchildren; Step-daughter Tami McInerney of Redwood City and her sons Kevin and Connor; Step-son Skip Martin of Sarasota, Florida and his two daughters Allison and Ashleigh; and Step-daughter Lori Martin of New York.

Born in Chicago, Illinois August 25th, 1933, as the only child to the late John Edward Oliver and Elmira P. Oliver (Franklin), John received his BS in Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1956 and was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma. John served active duty in the Air Force for four years and continued to proudly serve as a member of the Air National Guard for 27 years and retired as a Captain. A long-time resident of San Jose, John worked for IBM for over 25 years as an industrial engineer and trainer. John was also an enrolled agent, and he spent his nights and weekends doing tax returns for his clients. In his free time, John enjoyed collecting stamps, researching Genealogy, reading history books, and watching basketball and football. He was an active member of many clubs and an active member of the First Congregational church community for over 35 years, and where he and his wife Mariel met.

John was a member of CSEA, MSEA and the CTEC representative from Mission for many years.