Hochschild was CPA, former JFed Budget chair


Peter Hochschild, longtime certified public accountant who was honored by his profession, and who was a past chairman of the Jewish Federation Budget Committee and former chair of the Accountants Division for its campaign, died Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at the Gatesworth, where he had lived for past four years. Mr. Hochschild was 96 and had been longtime former resident of Clayton.

Mr. Hochschild was born on May 27, 1913 in the Alsace, Colmar, now France, son of Ernest and Paula Hochschild. At the outbreak of World War I, his entire family was deported to Frankfurt. His father had been a district judge, lawyer and an opera critic in Frankfurt. When he became a bar mitzvah in Frankfurt, he received a chess set as a gift. His daughter, Carla says that she and other family members were all taught chess with that set.

After 1933 and the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis, the family decided to send the 20-year-old Mr. Hochschild to Baltimore, where there were other family members. After a brief time in Baltimore, he moved to St. Louis in 1937, where he met the former Henrietta Maizner. They married on Feb. 14, 1940.

Mr. Hochschild found employment at a shoe company while attending Washington University. He passed the national Certified Public Accountant Exam “with flying colors, with the second-best results in the United States,” according to Rabbi Jeffrey B. Stiffman, who officiated at a memorial service for Mr. Hochschild on Feb. 26.

Rabbi Stiffman recalled that Mr. Hochschild and his wife “together raised their beloved Steven, of blessed memory, Robert and Carla…I know that they were so happy that you could live a life of family togetherness in a free country. It was their greatest satisfaction to see the love you shared.”

Carla Hochschild said, “My father totally embraced life and lived it fully. He had a lifelong love for language, usually won at Scrabble and Quiddlers, and was obviously very adept at numbers as well. He gave generously in his spirit and deeds, volunteering at SCORE and the Music Library at Webster Groves. He participated in the civic life and was totally proud to be a citizen. He loved to share his passions, particularly the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Powell Symphony Hall and the St. Louis Opera Theatre.”

Professionally, Mr. Hochschild was the longtime senior partner of the public accounting firm of Hochschild, Bloom & Company, with offices in Clayton and Washington, Mo.

Mr. Hochschild received the distinguished Silver Medal, the Elijah Watt Sells Award in 1946 by the national accounting profession, signifying the second-best CPA examination results in the difficult nationwide tests.

He served as a member of the Clayton Charter Commission, where he helped draft the home-rule charter for the city. He was also a member of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants, and published numerous articles in tax magazines and business journals. He served on the boards of several medium-sized Missouri corporations.

Mr. Hochschid also served on the boards of the Jewish Federation, the Jewish Family and Children’s Service and the Covenant/Chai Senior Apartments, which he helped to found.

One of Mr. Hochschild’s friends was Rosalyn Borg, who recalls, “I became acquainted with Peter because we were classmates in the ‘Reading The New Yorker’ magazine class at Washington University’s Life Long Learning Institute. I always thought of Peter as a ‘courtly gentleman,’ in the European sense of the meaning. He had a quick and inquiring mind and was so smart. Although his views on the issues often differed from many in the class, including mine, Peter brought a unique perspective to the discussion. I often think he did this on purpose just to have fun and to challenge his classmates. We’ll miss him.”

Mr. Hochschild’s wife, Henrietta, died in February, 2000 and their son Steven died in 1982. Survivors include another son, Robert Hochschild; a daughter, Carla Hochschild; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Carla Hochschild said the family would take trips together every other year to Sanibel Island, Fla. from 1974 to 2004. “In this way we maintained strong family ties. He loved the beach, swimming in the ocean and pool, eating seafood and of course beating us at Hearts and Quiddler,” she said. “He also established a relationship with each grandchild by taking them on a special trip.”

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.