James Elbert, Texas Insurance Agency Executive, Passes Away

October 19, 2009

Long time Texas insurance agency executive James Peak Elbert, 72, of Galveston died suddenly on Oct. 11, 2009, at his home.

Elbert was born in Pampa, Texas, on Feb. 5, 1937, and grew up in Lake Jackson. After working in the property casualty insurance industry in Galveston, he purchased the his father’s insurance agency in Lake Jackson and has operated and grown that agency in Lake Jackson, Brazoria and Galveston since 1995.

In 2007, Elbert, president of the Elbert Insurance Agency in Lake Jackson, was honored with the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas Drex G. Foreman Award, the association’s highest honor. The award is named for Drex Foreman, who served as executive director of IIAT for 30 years.

Elbert began his professional life as a Methodist minister where he worked until he and the church hierarchy finally parted ways over his belief that a church ought to be a safe haven for the disenfranchised. After leaving the ministry, he joined his dad’s agency in 1971. He remained with the Elbert Insurance Agency through his father’s death and a couple of name changes until 1983 when he left Lake Jackson and went to work as vice president and general manager at the former Jahn-Austin Insurance Agency in Galveston. Then in 1995 he returned to Lake Jackson when he bought the Bennett Elbert Agency renaming it the Elbert Insurance Agency.

Throughout his insurance career, Elbert was actively involved with Texas windstorm issues, working to find common ground among insurance companies, agents, consumers and elected officials. He was chair of TDI’s Windstorm Depopulation Committee and a member of TDI’s Advisory Building Code Committee. He served as chairman of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association and the FAIR Plan board.

He also was past president of the Texas chapter of the Alliance for Insurance Education and a former Executive Board member of the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas.

Elbert received his undergraduate degree from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and Divinity Degree from the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

He was active in the Boy Scouts of America, the Rotary Club of Galveston Island and the Mayor’s Roundtable on Housing. He was listed annually in Marquis Who’s Who in America.

Survivors include his wife Ann Elbert; his son Michael Elbert and wife Mary and grandson Jonathan of Panama City, Fla., his son Steven Elbert of Lake Jackson and his daughter Jennifer Fudge and husband Adrian of Austin. He is also survived by special family members – nephew Larry Grant of Austin; sister in-law Marie Smith from Dallas; and parents in-law David and Peggy Smith of Galveston.

Friends may sign the register book and send the family condolences at www.CarnesBrothers.com/contactus. Please include the Elbert name.

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