A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5, at Frame Memorial Presbyterian Church in Stevens Point, with the Rev. Susan Gilbert Zencka officiating.
Visitation will be at the church from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, and again from 10 a.m. Tuesday until the service.
Donations may be made to Frame Memorial Presbyterian Church, the YMCA of Stevens Point, the Salvation Army (for use in Portage County) and the Community Foundation of Portage County.
Boston Funeral Home assisted with arrangements. Condolences may be offered online at www.bostonfuneralhome.net.
Ms. Salzmann was born Jan. 24, 1919, in Madison, a daughter of the late Margaret Doll and Elmer Salzmann. The family lived in Highland until 1925 when they moved to Fond du Lac. She graduated from Fond du Lac High School in 1936, winning the Daughters of the American Revolution medal. Shortly after graduation she was chosen Miss Fond du Lac as part of the city’s centennial celebration.
She attended Oshkosh State Teacher’s College for two years and transferred to the University of Wisconsin (UW) in Madison where she graduated in 1940 with a double major in accounting and statistics and a minor in math.
Immediately following graduation she was employed by Hardware Mutual Casualty Company in Stevens Point (now Sentry Insurance) as an actuarial research assistant. In 1944 she worked out of Hardware’s Chicago office as a payroll auditor, returning to the home office in 1945 as an assistant actuary.
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 moved to Philadelphia to take 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 holding the positions of associate actuary, group actuary and secretary of underwriting.
She returned to Stevens Point in 1968 to rejoin what is now Sentry Insurance. Assuming the position of vice president and actuary, she 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.
Ms. Salzmann was active in her profession, becoming 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.
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.
She became a member of the American Academy of Actuaries in 1965, was named Distinguished Alumnus of the UW-Madison School of Business in 1984 and named one of the “100 Leading Women” by Business Insurance in 2000.
She enjoyed music and sports. She was an accomplished cornet/trumpet player giving solo performances and playing in high school band and orchestra. She won a scholarship to music camp in Grand Rapids, Mich., and was selected to play with the Madison Symphony Orchestra while attending UW-Madison.
She played tournament tennis from high school onward. In 1950 she was ranked the No. 2 woman in Wisconsin. In retirement she continued to garner accolades in the sport competing in the national Senior Olympics.
Ms. Salzmann was known for her sense of humor. 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. She began the practice in 1959 and continued it for the next 40 years.
She was a longtime member of Frame Memorial Presbyterian Church in Stevens Point.
Survivors include one brother-in-law, Mel McClure; two nephews Paul (Donna) Goble and David Goble; two nieces, Barbara (Greg) Krohn and Judy (Kevin) Koster; seven great-nephews; three great-nieces; and one great-great nephew.
She was also preceded in death by two sisters, Claire Goble D’Ianni and Jean McClure.