In Memoriam: ALbert B. Kerkhove 10/16/18 10/21/18 10:11:07 PM
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|Albert B. Kerkhove
August 20, 1950 – September 1, 2018
He Wanted Justice for Taxpayers
The unexpected death of Albert B. Kerkhove, an Omaha tax attorney, was a shock to friends and family. He had been in remission after a two-year fight with cancer when he learned it had recurred days before his death. He shared law offices
with attorneys Robert Laughlin and Michael Haller, Jr. for 10 years, following a 33-year career with the Internal Revenue Service where he was associate district counsel.
A native of Sioux Falls, S.D., Kerkhove lost his father when he was 15. He was the oldest of three boys, so he had to grow up fast. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Augustana College and his law degree at the University of South Dakota. He was admitted to both the Nebraska and South Dakota Bar. A job with the IRS brought him to Omaha, where he met his wife Kathy.
“He was very kind,” Laughlin said. “He knew the IRS tax code inside and out and was excited when he retired to open his own law firm. He wanted to help those the IRS was ready to levy on, unjustly in his opinion. He would regularly take cases to federal tax court. He wanted to obtain justice for taxpayers.”
Laughlin said in Kerkhove’s first couple years in private practice, he would often lecture at tax seminars and that opened up a wealth of clients. He also testified as an expert witness.
“He was very low-key, but you knew when he won one of those cases by the big smile on his face,” Laughlin said. “He was also very dedicated and didn’t like unfinished business. He was determined to finish writing a brief in the days before he died.
“He will be greatly missed.”
Besides the law, his passion was snow skiing. He served on the board of directors of the Omaha Ski Club as well as starting a pre-season exercise class to prepare members for the ski season.
“Then on the trips, Al would give up his first day of skiing to help all the new skiers get fitted with ski equipment and sign up for beginner lessons,” said fellow skier Steven Grunberg. “His unselfish service to our club set an example to others serving after him.”
Kerkhove is survived by his wife, Kathy, sons Eric (Connie) and Thomas; granddaughter, Emmaline; brothers, David (Karen) and Dennis; and many other relatives and friends.
Services were held in September. Memorials are suggested to Augustana University, West Hills Church in Omaha or the American Cancer Society.
– Lorraine Boyd