1919 - 2014
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Ruth E. Salzmann died peacefully on July 24, 2014 in Stevens Point, Wisc. She was 95.
Ruth was born January 24, 1919 in Madison, Wisc. to Margaret Doll and Elmer Salzmann.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Ruth began her career of firsts for women at Hardware Mutual Casualty Company in Stevens Point as an actuarial research assistant.
She passed her associate actuary exams in 1946 and her fellow exams in 1947 to become the first woman in the Casualty Actuarial Society to be designated an actuarial fellow by exam.
In 1959 she took a position with the Insurance Company of North America, INA, which is now part of CIGNA. In 1962 she became the company's first woman officer attaining the position of secretary of underwriting before returning to Stevens Point in 1968 to rejoin what is now Sentry Insurance.
As vice president and actuary, Ruth became the first woman vice president of the company. Later she became the first woman to serve on the Sentry Board of Directors. She retired in 1984 with the title of executive vice president and actuary.
Ruth became the first woman president of the Casualty Actuarial Society in 1978. She developed mathematical tables - the Salzmann curves - that were a primary basis for pricing property insurance for 40 years. Her 1963 paper, Rating by Layer of Insurance, was required reading for actuarial students into the 21st century. She became a member of the American Academy of Actuaries in 1965.
Following her retirement she wrote a book, "Estimated Liabilities for Loss & Loss Adjustment Expense" and was an actuarial consultant and expert witness for several court cases. She also served on the boards of the John Hancock Fire and Casualty subsidiary; the John Deere Fire and Casualty subsidiary (now owned by Sentry) and Neuberger and Berman Advisers Management Trust.
Ruth enjoyed music and sports. She was an accomplished cornet/trumpet soloist. In her college years she played trumpet with the Madison Symphony Orchestra.
She played tournament tennis and in 1950 was ranked the No. 2 woman in Wisconsin. In retirement she competed at the national Senior Olympics.
Ruth was known for her sense of humor and ready laugh. In homage to her life as a single woman she celebrated Old Maid's Day- a little-known national holiday designated for June 4 - by designing and sending out cards to her friends and family.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters Claire Goble D'Ianni and Jean McClure. She is survived by her brother-in-law Mel McClure; nephew Paul Goble, his wife Donna and children Nicholas, Celia and Alexander; nephew David Goble and his children David and Caroline; niece Barbara Krohn, her husband Greg and children Tim and Michael; and niece Judy Koster, her husband Kevin and children John, Ryan and Sarah as well as great-great nephew Cason Koster.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, August 5, at Frame Memorial Presbyterian Church in Stevens Point.
Published on NYTimes.com from July 30 to July 31, 2014