In Memory of Joseph D. Austin
Joseph Daniel Austin, FSA 1961, MAAA 1965, of Lake Forest, Illinois died on November 21, 2020 at home with his family at the age of 93. He was born on June 28, 1927 in Olyphant, Pennsylvania, to Mildred and James Austin. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, James and William Austin. He is survived by his beloved wife, Mary L. Austin (née Stanton), their six devoted children Joseph, Thomas, Michael (Dawn), Mary Frances (Joseph Milani), Susan McGrew, and William (Theresa), their eleven adoring grandchildren Kathleen (Charles Cosyns), Elizabeth, Michael James, Daniel, Patrick, Matthew, Andrew, James, Joseph, Maria, and Robert, and his sisters Mildred Walsh and Mary Hoban (Michael) and their extended families.
Mr. Austin was the Executive Chairman of Federal Life Insurance Company in Riverwoods, Illinois. He joined the Company in 1972 and was elected Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer in June 1977. He was Chief Executive Officer of the company for 41 years. In 1952, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Scranton. He was on both the varsity football and basketball teams while he was a student at the university. Mr. Austin began his career in the insurance industry at New York Life Insurance Company, and then held positions at U.S Life, Minnesota National Life, and Western Life. He was one of seven businessmen who were appointed to serve as expert consultants to the U.S. Post Office Department. Additionally, he was invited to participate by the Committee on Ways and Means to discuss the impact of the Treasury's tax reform proposal on the insurance industry.
Mr. Austin proudly served in the U.S. Navy Combat Aircrew during WWII. He loved the game of golf and was a long-time member of both Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois and Butler National Golf Club in Oak Brook, Illinois. He was also a member of the American Legion and the University Club of Chicago. He and his wife have been parishioners of St. Patrick Catholic Church since moving to Lake Forest in 1972. Mr. Austin and his wife, Mary, supported a variety of educational programs over the years. In 1996, they established a scholarship fund at the University of Scranton in honor of Edward F. Bartley, a professor and important mentor during his time at the university.
Memorial donations can be made to The Edward F. Bartley Scholarship Fund at The University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania.