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James Lawrence Hiney

Died: January 20, 1988

James Lawrence Hiney (pronounced High-knee) followed his Yale education with a career in insurance, ending as a well-liked and greatly esteemed vice president of Chubb & Son, in Summit, New Jersey. A constant, habitual smoker, his life was cut short by lung cancer on January 21, 1988.

Jim grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey, attending Bergenfield High School before Yale. His mother died when he was a child; and his father, who remarried in 1950, was an officer of the New York Telephone Company. Jim himself worked briefly for the telephone company before going into insurance. He was originally in the Yale class of 1962, but he took his degree with the class of 1966. While at Yale, he focused his studies on the liberal arts, graduating as a major in history, the arts and letters.

He was president of Phi Gamma Delta, and went on to become a member of the public channel WNET Advisory Committee and of the Hackensack Golf Club. He was president of the Insurance Managers Association of New Jersey, chairman of the Underwriting Committee of the New Jersey Marketing Assistance Plan, and member of the board of directors of the New Jersey Insurance News Service. He was also a member of the New Jersey Professional Insurance Agents and the New Jersey Independent Insurance Agents.

A colleague, Byrd Gwinn, remembers: “Every so often a remarkable person comes along whose humanity profoundly touches and influences many. Such was James L. Hiney, who, through wit, humor, common sense, sound judgment, and apt communication abilities, could both inspire and mobilize manifold constituencies — superiors, subordinates, peers, customers — to accomplish the task at hand with such aplomb that everyone felt like a winner.”

Jim’s wife, his high school sweetheart Brenda, whom he married after college, taught mathematics in a New Jersey high school. They had one son, James Jr., who now works as a consultant for the firm called Insperity in San Francisco. Jim’s brother Barry (Yale ’58) speaks for family and friends in remembering Jim as, simply, “a great guy.”