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EUGENE DELVES

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Eugene "Gene" Delves was a computer pioneer and member of a team of five men who started the organization that evolved into today's Accenture. In 1954, the Univac computer processed the payroll for the new General Electric Appliance Park near Louisville, Kentucky, and the five men behind it were young employees of Arthur Andersen's Administrative Service Division. Gene was one of them. This was the first successful installation and use of a computer in the industry. This moment is largely lost to history, but was an extraordinarily important achievement that was fundamental in launching the computing industry as we know it today. The Univac is now at the Smithsonian Institute. And, not insignificantly, those five men were the beginning of an organization that would become The Consulting Division of Arthur Andersen, then Andersen Consulting and today Accenture: a 22 billion dollar corporation with 225,000 employees serving clients in 120 countries. Gene was born in Chicago in 1927, attended Fernwood Elementary School and graduated as valedictorian from Fenger High School in 1945. Gene was drafted into the Army Air Corp in 1946 and spent most of his time in the service stationed at Lowrey Field in Denver. After the service he returned to DePauw University, where he met his future wife Sue Howard in 1947. He graduated from DePauw (Phi Beta Kappa) with a degree in Economics in 1950 and then earned an MBA degree from Northwestern University and a CPA degree from University of Illinois, both in 1952. Gene and Sue were married in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, on March 27, 1954. In 1951 Gene was hired by Arthur Andersen & Company in Chicago and by 1952 assigned to the newly established Administrative Service Division (or Ad Services), which focused on business systems. The leaders of Ad Services at the time saw the enormous potential of computers for business and were years ahead of anyone else in understanding computers. After the successful Univac project, Gene went on to enjoy a full career at Andersen, making Partner in 1963. Before retiring from Andersen in 1987, Gene held many positions in senior leadership, worked on six continents, is fondly remembered as a gentle and caring boss and always reliable colleague. From 1987 to 1990, Gene served as Chief Operating Officer of Saatchi Consulting, and from 1990 to 1997, served in various consulting capacities with Unisys and AT&T. Gene was active in the Illinois CPA Society, ultimately serving as President in 1983. His community service involved serving on the boards (always as an officer, often as president) of Beverly Area Planning Association, Ridge Historical Society, Smith Senior Living, Methodist Youth Services, Center for Parish Development, and Garrett Theological Seminary. He was known for creative fundraising and insistence upon well presented financial statements. Gene was a member of Morgan Park United Methodist Church for 52 years and served as its Finance Committee Chairman for 47 years. Since 1978 he was a very loyal alumnus of DePauw University, Greencastle, IN, where he served in many capacities, most notably on its Board of Trustees and as its Chair. Gene died of complications from a stroke on August 3, 2011 at Smith Village where he and Sue (Howard) lived since 2008. He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years; his three children Don (wife Denise DeFries), Bob (wife Jenny Harrigan) Sarah Hraha (husband Ed); seven grandchildren, Michael, Tom and Robert Hraha, Kevin, Patrick and Jackson and Lucy Delves; and his brother Gerald. Memorial visitation Friday, August 5 from 3 to 9 p.m. at Donnellan Funeral Home, 10525 S. Western Ave. Memorial Service Saturday Aug. 6, 10:30 a.m. at Morgan Park United Methodist Church (MPUMC), 11030 S. Longwood Dr., Chicago, IL 60643. lmmediately following the service there were be a sharing of fellowship and lunch. In lieu of flowers, donations to MPUMC or Smith Village. For info (773) 238-0075, Please sign guest book at www.donnellanfuneralhome.com.

  
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Aug. 5, 2011
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