Luella Joan Conner of Huntington Common Drive in Kennebunk died on February 25, 2019, following a long illness; she was 87.
Born in Clinton, Massachusetts, Joan grew up in Harvard, Massachusetts and graduated from Concord High School in 1948. After graduating from the Worcester School of Business Science, she moved to Boston to begin a more than forty-year career in the insurance industry. She worked for Brewer & Lord and Atlantic Mutual, earning her Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter designation in 1973. She then moved with her husband, Malcolm, and their two daughters to Glastonbury, Connecticut, where she joined Crum & Forster as a branch manager. In 1990, Joan became senior vice president and chief underwriting officer for Crum & Forster of Canada, where she was responsible for the company’s Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary operations. At the time, she was one of the few women in executive leadership in the insurance industry.
When Crum & Forster sold its Canadian subsidiary in 1992, Joan returned to Kennebunk, where she and her husband had moved in 1990 upon his retirement. She joined the Maine Municipal Association as an underwriting supervisor and became MMA’s director of risk management services in 1995. In 2004, shortly before she retired, Joan received national recognition from the industry for the excellence of the programs she developed for MMA. Wherever she worked, Joan was noted for her professionalism, commitment to excellence, and integrity. She was a trusted mentor to many over the years, encouraging those who worked for her to further their education and develop their skills.
Joan also used her professional skills to serve the Episcopal Church at both the parish and diocesan levels, lending her leadership and expertise to committees and initiatives. Joan and Malcolm were active members of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Westwood, Mass.; St. James’ Episcopal Church in Glastonbury, Conn.; and St. David’s Episcopal Church in Kennebunk. Her deep faith sustained her throughout her life, and her gratitude for her blessings inspired her to help and encourage many others, often in quiet ways.
Joan loved the beauty of the Maine coast; she and Malcolm enjoyed visits to Bar Harbor and treasured family vacations at Biddeford Pool. A self-taught gardener, she carefully planned and planted gardens at her home in Kennebunk, delighting in their color and tranquility. She read widely over her lifetime, and for many years subscribed to three newspapers – local, regional, and national – because she believed in being well-informed about events in her community and the wider world. Her daughters were her pride and joy; they were so richly blessed by her love and guidance and gracious example. She was also a devoted Red Sox fan.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Malcolm. She is survived by her daughter the Rev. Lu-Anne Conner and her wife, Kate McCormick, of Lake St. Louis, MO; her daughter Sarah of Boston; a niece, Marie Banks Tasker (Romona) of Las Vegas, NV; and a nephew, David Banks (Cheryl) of Omaha, NE. Joan’s family is so very grateful for the loving and compassionate care she received in her last years from Comfort Keepers, the staff at Huntington Common, her team from Compassus Hospice, and the clergy of St. David’s Episcopal Church.
Her memorial service will be held on Friday, March 15 at 11:00 a.m. at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Kennebunk; interment will be at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor may be made to St. David’s Episcopal Church Memorial Fund, 138 York St., Kennebunk, ME 04043 or Trinity Academy, 120 Sigourney St., Hartford, CT 06105.
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