In Memory of Gary Lee Corliss, FSA

Gary CorlissGary Lee Corliss, FSA 1955, died suddenly at his home on Lake Pocotopaug in East Hampton, CT, on Nov. 30, 2015. Although he lived in Connecticut for the past 50 years, he still thought of himself as a Vermonter. He maintained ties with his hometown of Windsor, VT, where he was born August 14, 1943, the second son of the late Leslie and Hazel Corliss. Gary had one brother, Robert Corliss, who passed earlier this year.

As a brand new University of Vermont graduate in 1954, Gary (FSA, MAAA, CSA) moved to Hartford to begin a lifelong career in the insurance industry. Aetna was his first professional home, where, in 1985 he championed the company’s entry into Long Term Care insurance, overseeing the development of individual Long Term Care insurance products that set industry standards and served as the impetus for subsequent NAIC Model Regulations. He subsequently served as President for Group Management Services, Duncanson & Holt Administration Services, AUL Long Term Care Solutions, and ERC LTC Solutions. In 2002 he founded Avon Long Term Care Leaders, through which he built the largest LTC reinsurance facility in the US and globally. He was “mostly retired” for the past 10 years, although kept his hand in the industry as a mentor to previous colleagues, and as founding CEO of Avon Long Term Care Consultants, an underwriting business. Throughout his career, Gary authored numerous articles, and addressed public and private seminars on Long Term Care insurance throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia.  For over 20 years, he chaired the Society of Actuaries Long-Term Care Experience Committee and the Long Term Care Intercompany Study that has published five of the largest (and only) public data sources on insured lives for long term care insurance.

Gary followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit as he pledged to be of service in all areas of his life. He coached youth basketball, swimming, softball and soccer, leading the Girls 1988 Connecticut State Soccer Champions to victory. He served as a soccer referee in Avon, CT for many years, donating all his ref fees to charity. For three decades he made yearly trips to an Appalachian mission of The Sisters of St. Joseph, driving truckloads of clothing, toys and household goods. He was a catalyst in the Social Action Committee at the Church of St. Ann in Avon, CT. He served on the Pro-life Committee at St. Patrick’s Church in East Hampton and devoted innumerable hours to the Knights of Columbus Belltown Council, where he was the Grand Knight for the past 18 months.

Gary was an avid swimmer who, for many years, made a practice of waterskiing once a year on his birthday. He enjoyed ballroom dancing with his wife for the past 14 years. Several years ago he began training for triathlons and running, taking first place in his age category in many of the races he entered. In September, he attained his long-term goal of completing a half-marathon, alongside his two proud daughters. He enjoyed frequent travel to all parts of the world, but was also happy chopping wood and tending to evening fires in the fireplace at home. He was a coupon clipper who took delight in reporting on how much he had saved during any given shopping trip. His “pasta with sauce,” was legendary.

Gary was a man devoted to his family. Carol, his wife of 18 years, will deeply miss being his partner in all the big and little things of life. His children Cindy (Corliss) Godwin, Greg Corliss, and Jaime Corliss are eternally grateful for his love, support, wise guidance, unbending optimism, goofy sense of fun, deep faith, and spirituality.  His stepson Jim McDonnell cherishes the man who helped guide him through his teen years and early adulthood. His grandchildren, Ben and Ella, adored their “Pa” and will always hold him in their hearts. 

Gary is also mourned by his first wife, Mary Corliss; his mother- and father-in-law, Velma and Ralph Bodensteiner; his daughters-in-law Beth Corliss and Ashley McDonnell; his son-in-law Kevin Godwin; many brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews; several cousins; and countless friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery Development Office, 27 Park Road, West Hartford, CT 06119.