Peter Winslow Plumley of Kissimmee, Florida died Monday, May 31, 2021. He was 92.
Born in Newton Massachusetts, he attended Fessenden School (where his father, Howard Plumley, was a teacher and assistant headmaster), and Chauncy Hall, from which he graduated in 1946. He graduated in 1950 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.
After graduating from MIT, he relocated to Hartford, Connecticut and joined the Travelers Insurance Company in the actuarial department. Shortly thereafter, he was called to active duty in the Army. He served as a Captain in the Army, and served two years of active duty during the Korean War, stationed in Washington DC at the National Security Agency, and served for several years in the Army reserves.
While in Washington, he met and married Elizabeth Hamann (who predeceased him). The two relocated to Hartford, Connecticut and Peter continued his professional career as a life actuary with the Travelers Insurance Company. He broadened his professional focus and graduated from UConn Law School in 1964. He held many roles at the Travelers including in the Tax Department where he was able to use a combination of his actuarial and legal training. His professional interests included life company actuarial work, mortality research and analysis, the future of the actuarial profession, actuarial education, research on the AIDs epidemic, automation of actuarial work, and insurance company taxation.
He served as an active volunteer for the Society of Actuaries and became General Chairman of its Education and Examination Committee. He oversaw major innovations in actuarial education and was a leader in adaption to changing professional needs in the actuarial profession. He later served on the Board of Governors. He was known for standing up for what was right and participated in a variety of controversies in his professional and personal roles.
His career eventually led him to become the Executive Director of the Society of Actuaries in Chicago, IL in the mid-1970s, then on to actuarial consulting in a firm and then on his own. He had many peer-reviewed actuarial papers published (Transactions, SOA) including “The Education of the Actuary in the Future.” In the 1990s, he published several articles about understanding the AIDS epidemic including “An Actuarial Analysis of AIDS in America” and “Heterosexuals and AIDS: The Risk of Magic - The Magic of Risk” (Contingencies magazine, 1992) about the HIV diagnosis of Magic Johnson.
A model train enthusiast, Peter and his younger brother Chris built a model train located in a coffee table, completed in 1958. He and his sons built other, larger layouts in the basements of their homes. The family also share a love of duckpin bowling. Just before moving out of the town of Manchester, CT, Peter won the town duckpin bowling tournament that year - a source of great pride. He was also an avid photographer and in his home displayed many of his photographs.
He was a very strong supporter of his children and grandchildren and very proud of the help and encouragement he had been able to extend to all of them.
He enjoyed traveling and took many trips with family and friends. He was a fan of the UConn women’s basketball team, Chicago and Boston professional sports teams and trying to predict the winner of major golf tournaments along with his children.
The greatest individual sports achievement for Peter would have to be what happened on a family golf outing in 1998 on the Gold Course at the Wailea Resort. On a straightaway par four, decidedly downhill, Pete launched his drive. It sailed along over the fairway, then took a dramatic turn leftward, hooking out of site.
After his playing partners hit, the group headed down the fairway for the next shot, but first, a search ensued for Peter’s ball, last seen heading into the wooded area along the cart path. No luck in locating it at first, Peter considered dropping another ball, when suddenly, his son-in-law, Rick called out from 150 years away, down beside the green, pointing to the ball.
The cartpaths on the Gold Course are concrete. Peter had landed his wayward drive onto the path, it rolled down the hill and hopped up onto the fringe, near the green. He went down to the ball, chipped it onto the green and had the ball in the hole with two putts. Standing proudly over the cup, he announced, “Another routine par.”
He is survived by his wife, Anna Rappaport, his brother, Christopher Plumley (Valerie) of Tempe, AZ, his children David Plumley of Chicago, IL, Susan Jones of East Hartford, CT, Jean Bolduc (Rick) of Chapel Hill, NC, Chris Plumley (Lisa) of Cheshire, CT, his nephew Michael Plumley of Seattle, WA, his niece Margaret Plumley of Monterey, CA, his seven grandchildren-Eric Jones, Patrick Jones, Brian Bolduc, Robert Bolduc, Meredith Plumley, Allyson Plumley, Taylor Plumley and six great grandchildren.
Peter is also survived by Anna’s daughter, Jennifer Rappaport-Royce (Michael) of Los Angeles, CA and their two children, Mia and Will.
The family wishes to express appreciation to Peter’s hospice care team (Kindred Hospice, Bridges to Care of Kissimmee and family friend Debi Martin) who provided supportive care and services.
A memorial service will be held in the fall. The family requests memorial donations in lieu of flowers to The Actuarial Foundation (https://www.actuarialfoundation.org/donate/) and the Fessenden School (Newton, MA - https://www.fessenden.org/giving).
The Rappaport family is being cared for by: CONRAD & THOMPSON FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION SERVICES, 511 Emmett Street, Kissimmee, Florida 34741; 407-847-3188.
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