Home News & Publications CPCU Society News In Memoriam: Donn P. McVeigh

In Memoriam: Donn P. McVeigh

In Memoriam: Donn P. McVeigh


Donn P. McVeigh died peacefully on March 28, 2017 in Oakland, California with his wife and two sons by his side, two weeks after celebrating his 86th birthday.

Donn was an extremely active member of the CPCU Society and the Golden Gate Chapter since 1962 and held the following distinctions:

  • CPCU Society Board of Directors, 1995-1998
  • CPCU Society Research Activities Committee, 1973-1976, Chair, 1976
  • CPCU Society Risk Management Committee, 1993-1995
  • CPCU Society Coverage, Litigators, Educators & Witnesses (CLEW) Committee, 1998-1999
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) qualified 1993-present
  • Contribution to Insurance Education Award, Santa Clara Valley Chapter, 1969
  • Insurance Professional of the Year Award, Golden Gate Chapter, 1994

Born in San Francisco March 14, 1931, he was predeceased by his parents Lois and Albert and his twin brother Doug. Donn was raised in the Parkside district of San Francisco until the age of 12, when he and his family moved to Sonoma. Nearly 49 years ago, Donn married Sandra (Haudenchild), also an identical twin. Donn became an Eagle Scout at age 14 and held summer jobs, including bailing hay, harvesting hops, and working on a turkey farm. In high school he was a delegate to Boys State, played football, and excelled at swimming and diving. During the 1946 inaugural season of the San Francisco 49ers, Donn became a lifelong fan, driving to games in the family truck to Kezar Stadium. He was valedictorian of Sonoma High School and was on the undefeated football team at Santa Rosa Junior College. During the Korean War, he enlisted in the United States Navy and served as an air traffic controller in Texas.

After his discharge, Donn earned his BA and MS degrees in insurance and risk management from San Jose State, beginning a career in the insurance industry that spanned 60 years. Donn was an adjunct professor at San Jose State and continued to teach seminars and courses. He authored many articles that appeared in insurance industry publications and was a partner in and co-founder of three companies.

He held leadership positions in organizations including the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Society. He became nationally recognized in risk management and captive insurance, being designated “Insurance Person of the Year” by the CPCU Golden Gate Chapter in 1994.

Donn and Sandy raised their family in San Francisco and relocated to the Oakland hills in 1988. Donn met regularly with good friends to discuss sports, politics, and current events at Crogan’s, where some dubbed him the “Mayor of Montclair.” At age 62, with his extensive insurance knowledge, Donn began a new phase of his career as an expert witness, being retained by law firms to be deposed and testify on coverage and liability issues in state and federal courts. Because of his competence and integrity, he was retained by both plaintiff and defense attorneys. His last case was settled in 2015 at age 84.

Donn was proud of his Irish heritage, and traveled to Ireland several times with his family to meet relatives. He enjoyed fine dining, Sonoma County pinot noir, and the opera. Donn is survived by his wife Sandy, his sister- and brother-in-law Sue and Bert Izant of Berkeley, his daughter Cheryl and her husband Gary Henry of Vacaville, his son Sean and his wife Jennifer of San Leandro, his son Cameron of Oakland, and his two grandchildren, Kendall and Dillon. All greatly appreciated his enthusiasm to share his fact-based opinions and his dedication to the English language. His wisdom will be deeply missed. A private memorial gathering and burial at Mountain View Cemetery of Oakland is planned.

Published April 10, 2017