Edwin S. Overman, 89; headed insurance nonprofits

Edwin S. Overman
Edwin S. Overman
Posted: February 20, 2012

Edwin S. Overman, 89, president and chief executive officer from 1966 to 1987 of Malvern nonprofits that advised insurance firms, died Thursday, Jan. 26, of dementia in his home at Wellington at Hershey's Mill, a retirement community in West Goshen. He was a longtime resident of Wayne.

Dr. Overman headed both the American Institute for Property and Liability Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America, educational organizations for insurance professionals.

In 1992, the American Institute changed its name to the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, and a 2010 rebranding of that group and the Insurance Institute created the current name, the Institutes, a spokeswoman there said.

His daughter, Jeanne Trankle, said the Philadelphia chapter of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Society gave Dr. Overman its first Franklin Award in 1983.

Olivet College in Michigan awarded him an honorary doctorate of letters in 1985, she said, and the Insurance Hall of Fame inducted him in 1989.

Born in Hope, Ark., Dr. Overman grew up on a Native American reservation in Pawnee, Okla., and served in the Army in France during World War II.

"He was the man that drove the general around looking for parts for the general's favorite pastime - radios," his daughter said.

The general's name is lost to memory, she said, but not that of the French family in whose house he was billeted.

"Their children have stayed with us," she said, "and we have visited with them."

After earning a bachelor's degree at Oklahoma State University, he earned a master's there and a doctorate at Ohio State University, both in economics, his daughter said.

The spokeswoman for the Institutes said Dr. Overman joined its predecessors in 1953 as director of college relations and became dean in 1960.

In addition to his daughter Jeanne, Dr. Overman is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mary Katheryn; a stepson, James Hunt; five grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren.

His former wife, Adelaide, died in 1999.

A memorial service was scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 966 Trinity Lane, King of Prussia.

Contact staff writer Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.

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