Donald L. Gursey, a founding partner of the L.A. accounting firm Gursey Schneider & Co. LLP and a specialist in forensic accounting in divorce cases, has died of pancreatic cancer. He was 71.


Gursey formed the firm with Stanley B. Schneider in 1979. The firm started with 20 employees and now employs more than 120 accountants and staff.


He had served in the military before studying at UCLA. After graduation, he found a niche for himself in divorce accounting after the state adopted "no fault" divorce in 1970.


"He led by example," Schneider said. "Don was the leader in his field and his staff and younger partners learned from his experience and expertise."


Gursey was elected president of the California Society of CPAs in 2000, and was given the lifetime achievement award in the family law section of the society in 2005.


He is survived by his four children, Darlene Mowrey of Los Angeles; Greg Gursey of Anchorage, Alaska; Nicole Arata of Jackson, Miss.; and Kim Gursey of Los Angeles. He is also survived by two step-children, Hillary Schwartz and Stephen Burdman, both of New York; his seven grandchildren and step-grandchildren; and seven brothers and sisters.


Services are planned for 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 at Forest Lawn, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles.


In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Donald L. Gursey and Stanley B. Schneider Alumni Scholarship Fund at UCLA or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.


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