Lena Chang Sheeran, peacefully passed away in the early hours of August 13th at home surrounded by her loving family. Far more than an award-winning actuary and co-founder of both CURE and NJ PURE, she was a dedicated colleague, mentor and friend.
Born in Yuen Nan, Xiang Yuen, China, Dr. Chang came to the United States at the age of 16. As a young woman, she broke barriers, earning a bachelor’s degree in physics at age 19 and doctorate in mathematics from the University of Illinois by the age of 23. Her career spanned decades in which she founded Massachusetts Employers Insurance Exchange in Boston, MA (now, A.I.M. Mutual) before moving to New Jersey where she and her late husband and former New Jersey insurance commissioner, James J. Sheeran, co-founded CURE Auto Insurance and NJ PURE medical malpractice insurance. She also founded both Chang & Company and Silver Rock Solutions throughout her storied career.
Dr. Chang proudly received a number of awards over the years, including the prestigious Clifford D. Spangler Award by the American Risk and Insurance Association in recognition of for her highly regarded article and theorem on rating and risk evaluation in 1989. She also received the Golden Door Award from the International Institute of New England, honoring a U.S. citizen of foreign birth who has made outstanding contributions to American society. A strong proponent of education, she shared her knowledge with others, holding professorial positions at several universities and serving as an assistant dean at Temple University School of Business. In 2009, she was invited to join the China Center for Insurance and Risk Management (CCIRM) as a member of its advisory board for a three-year term.
Beyond her memorable work, Dr. Chang enjoyed the arts. She was on the Board of Trustees of the renowned McCarter Theater in Princeton for many years and supported the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra as the American Friend of the Choir, for which she was invited to a dinner hosted by HRH Prince of Wales at the Buckingham Palace in May of 2017. Dr. Chang also enjoyed playing golf, creating jewelry, meeting people and traveling, especially her cherished visits to Jamaica. Yet, she valued nothing more than spending time with her family.
Dr. Chang made a difference in the lives of so many. Those who had the great fortune of knowing her will forever remember her strength, ethics and loyalty. She will be missed dearly but not forgotten.
Daughter of the late Hai Ping Chang and Zi Ruai Kwan, wife of the late James J. Sheeran, sister of the late C.S. Chang, she is survived by her a daughter and son in law Audrey Poe Knox and Campbell Knox, son Eric Poe, brother and 2 sisters in law Thomas and Monica Chang, Alice Chang, five grandchildren Eibhleann G. Knox, James Riordan Knox, Mikayla J. Poe, Madison R. Poe and Mason R. Poe, Cousins Shen and Mary Shey, CH and Carol Liu and many nieces and nephews.
The Funeral will be held 10:00 am on Monday, August 23, 2021 from the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11:00 am at St. Paul’s Church 216 Nassau Street, Princeton.
Entombment will be Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 10:00 am in St. Catharine’s Cemetery, Sea Girt.
Friends may call on Sunday, August 22, 2021 from 5:00pm until 8:00 pm at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to www.homefrontnj.org in memory of Dr. Lena Chang.