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Past President Stewart Sawyer Passes Away

PLEASANTON, CA, April 18, 2018 - IIABCal Past President Stewart Sawyer passed away March 31st from complications following spinal surgery. He was 76.  

Sawyer led the association in 2005 after the consolidation of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of California (IIABC) and the Western Association of Insurance Brokers (WAIB) to form IBA West (currently IIABCal).  He served as President, President-elect, Secretary-treasurer and Director for the non-profit association, and also served as Chairman of the association's for-profit Service Corporation.

Sawyer was an industry leader in the Pacific Northwest for many years. He started his insurance career and spent 14 years with Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. He joined the agency side of the business after serving as Chief Actuary of United Pacific Insurance Company. 

Stewart was Executive Director of Market Security nationally for Wells Fargo Insurance Services, and ended his agency career as Vice President & Actuary for Wells Fargo Special Risk.

Following his retirement at the end of 2010, Stew continued his 45-year actuarial career by opening an independent actuarial consulting and expert witness practice. He was a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and an Associate of the Casualty and Actuarial Society.  His degree from the Honors College of University of Oregon was in theoretical mathematics. 

“Stew was an excellent individual who was one of the better strategic thinkers of our industry - he was always one step ahead,” said Bill Baldwin, past director of IIABCal & past chairman of the Planning Council. “He was also one of the most unselfish individuals I have ever known. He was a person who stepped up when he was asked.”

“I was the IBA President immediately preceding Stew, and I am sad we have lost him,” IIABCal Past President Stan Simpson said. “Stew and I became pretty good friends as we jointly rose thru the chairs of the association.  Stew was so liked and respected by all.”

“Stewart was a loyal, generous friend and a leader in our industry and in his actuarial profession," said Jerry O’Kane, IIABCal former CEO.  “I was very sad to hear he had died, and my thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Sandy, and the Sawyer family.”

There will be a Celebration of Life for Stewart on Sunday, May 6 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Environmental Services Building, 9850 64th St W, University Place, WA.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorial contributions to a charitable organization to which Stewart devoted many years of leadership and caregiving service.  The OutdoorsForAll Foundation, located in Seattle’s Magnuson Park, is dedicated to enriching the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities through outdoor recreation. The Foundation is in the process of setting up a special page on its website for contributions in Stewart Sawyer’s memory. 

For more information and to confirm to Steve Sawyer that you plan to attend the Celebration of Life, please contact him at 206.455.0020 or email  

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