In Remembrance is an occasional column featuring short obituaries of CAS members who have recently passed away. These obituaries and sometimes longer versions are posted on the CAS website; search for “Obituaries.”
The Lifelong Chicagoan
James E. Gillespie Sr. (FCAS 1964)
James E. Gillespie Sr., a lifelong northside Chicagoan, died at the age of 89 in early January 2022. Born July 29, 1932, in the Windy City to John, an Irish immigrant and Chicago police officer, and Anne (Hayes) Gillespie, he attended Saint Edward Grammar School, Saint Patrick High School and the University of Illinois’ Navy Pier and Champaign campuses. Gillespie was a true, diehard Chicago Cubs and Illinois Fighting Illini fan as well. His 40-year actuarial career included positions at CNA Insurance, Montgomery Ward Signature Group and Zurich America, where he officially retired as vice president. He was the beloved husband of Josephine (McManamon) for 65 years. He is survived by her along with their children, James Jr. (Carol), Thomas (Debbie), Mary Ann (Timothy) Nolan, Patrick (Rose Anne), John (Rebecca), Daniel (Krista) and Michael (Katie), along with 17 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and great friends. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Lurie Children’s Hospital or GiGi’s Playhouse. A video tribute is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YszBy_Ajd6Q.
A Life Cut Short
Frederick Oliver Larson (FCAS 2017)
Frederick Oliver Larson was devoted to becoming an actuary. He reportedly passed all 11 CAS exams on his first attempt. On December 26, 2021, he suddenly and unexpectedly died. He was just 32 years old. He was born December 14, 1989, to Gary and Melody (Luisi) Larson and attended LaGrange Highlands District 106 schools and Lyons Township High School in suburban Chicago. In 2012 he graduated with honors from Drake University in Des Moines with a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science. While attending Drake, he was president of the university’s actuarial student society. His career began at Willis Towers Watson (now WTW) in London. After becoming a CAS Fellow in 2017, he worked for American Modern Insurance Group and Munich Re before accepting a job with Ryan Specialty Group in 2018. He loved playing baseball and participated in an adult baseball league while living in Cincinnati. He was also passionate about politics, the Chicago White Sox and the Drake Bulldogs. His parents and brother Alexander survive him along with aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and colleagues.
The True Girl Scout
Christy B. Olson (FCAS 2001)
Surrounded by her loving family, Christy Olson passed away peacefully on February 9, 2022, after a short battle with cancer. As a model of the Girl Scout promise to help people at all times, she was a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient who stood up for her beliefs and for those whom she felt deserved a shot, especially women and people who didn’t look like her. In 2018 she was named mentor of the year by the International Association of Black Actuaries. She also served other organizations and as a mentor/advisor/budget coach to disadvantaged women in Connecticut. An outdoors enthusiast, she was always up for a hike, a bike ride, a walk with friends, a lake/river paddle, skiing or yoga as well as watching her boys’ baseball games. Besides being a great cook, she was a foodie who loved sitting by a fire with a glass of wine. She was born January 2, 1970, in Plainfield, New Jersey. After graduating from Boston University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, she worked for 29 years at Travelers Insurance. Her last position was vice president of business insurance loss analytics & reserving at the insurer’s Hartford, Connecticut, office. The beloved wife of Adam B. Olson, she is survived by her sons, Matthew, Tyler and Carter; her parents, Norm and Myra (Levinson) Schreck; sisters; in-laws and other family and friends. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Healing Meals (healingmealsproject.org), Gifts of Love (giftsoflove.com), Farmington Valley Trails Council (fchtrail.org) or the Jimmy V Foundation (v.org). To send online condolences to the family, please visit www.ahernfuneralhome.com.
The Passionate Actuary
Donald F. Mango (FCAS 1984, CERA 2014)
Donald F. Mango died on April 8, 2022, surrounded by his family at home after sustaining a quickly moving cancer. He was 58 years old. A man of passion, he loved fiercely. He cooked dinners, planned date nights for his beloved wife, Patricia, recorded violin recitals, cheated on game nights, laughed at parties, screamed at theme parks and cheered at swim meets. He trained for triathlons and rowing competitions and chased down prize catches on deep-sea sharking expeditions and even more prized catches in the dribbling creek behind his home in Gladstone, New Jersey. He was also passionate about the actuarial profession. In 2019 he was awarded the CAS’s lifetime achievement award for volunteerism, the Matthew Rodermund Memorial Service Award. Besides serving on the CAS Board of Directors and in other capacities, he won many CAS awards for his actuarial research. He was also a prolific author and entertaining speaker. Most recently, he was senior vice president, chief actuary and chief risk officer at Everest Reinsurance Company and an adjunct lecturer in actuarial science at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. Born on October 24, 1963, in San Francisco and raised in Houston, he graduated cum laude from Rice University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. A year later, he stumbled upon an actuarial assistant job listing and applied on a whim. Through this impulsive decision, he met his wife. The couple has a son, Alexander. Both survive him as do his family members, friends and colleagues. Donations can be made to The Actuarial Foundation’s Actuarial Diversity Scholarship Program at www.actuarialfoundation.org/remembering-don-mango.
A Lively Curiosity
Robert P. Irvan (FCAS 1978)
Bob Irvan of Eatonton, Georgia, died at his home on July 6, 2021, surrounded by family. He was 83. He initially dropped out of college but, after 90 days working on an assembly line, decided to return to school and got a degree at Wayne State University. He worked for many years at CNA in the life and health field, and he earned an MBA from the University of Chicago. Irvan then joined AFIA, a consortium of U.S.-based companies formed to write insurance outside of North America. He was hired as their accident and health actuary, but began taking CAS exams as he got more involved in AFIA’s P&C business. In 1978 he joined a small group of actuaries who held both FSA and FCAS credentials. CIGNA acquired AFIA in 1983, and Irvan was eventually named CFO. He frequently visited AFIA’s (and later CIGNA’s) foreign offices, especially London, which originated a large portfolio of reinsurance business. (Irvan observed, “The London market does not assume risk. It handles it.”) He had a lively curiosity about many subjects. One of his favorite books was An Exaltation of Larks, an illustrated book of collective nouns. He traveled widely and loved trying local foods and beers. He is survived by Nancy, his wife of 54 years; his sons, Joshua and Jeffrey and their wives; and two granddaughters. Donations may be made in his name to the Robert and Nancy Irvan endowed Scholarship in Math at Wayne State University, Box 674603, Detroit, Michigan 48267.