In Memoriam: Percy ("Pi") Chubb, III


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with sorrow the death on March 16, 2016, of former Honorary Trustee, Percy (“Pi”) Chubb, III, age 81.

Pi was the son of Percy Chubb, II, who served as an Honorary Member of the Corporation from 1980 until his death in 1982.  Pi began his affiliation with WHOI when he was elected to the Corporation in 1999; he joined the WHOI Board of Trustees the following year.  He was elected an Honorary Trustee (now Life Trustee) in 2007.

Pi was born October 14, 1934.  He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University, and later completed Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.  Pi was the great-grandson of Thomas Caldecot Chubb and grandson of Hendon Chubb, who founded Chubb & Son in 1882.  After graduating from Yale and serving two years in the Army, Pi joined the firm—then headed by his father—in 1958 as a trainee in the New York office.  To avoid the confusion of having two Percy Chubbs at work, Percy III used his family nickname, Pi, which was borrowed from a center fielder for the Newark Bears, a Yankees farm team. 

Pi gradually ascended through the ranks of the firm by hard work and determination.  Initially, he learned the business by attending the College of Insurance at night and by participating in the company's rigorous training program, which rotated trainees from department to department every few weeks.  Eventually, Pi became vice chairman of the Chubb Corporation in 1986, and retired in 1997.

In addition to serving as a trustee of the Mystic Seaport Museum and New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Pi was also long dedicated to serving as president and trustee of the Victoria Foundation, which was established in 1924 by his grandfather, Hendon Chubb, and named after the founder’s mother.  The Victoria Foundation has concentrated its focus and considerable resources on the residents of Newark since the 1960s, with a mission of improving the lives of children and families in need in Newark and protecting water resources and preserving open space throughout New Jersey.

Pi is survived by his wife, Sally, who always accompanied him to Board and Corporation meetings at WHOI, and who delighted in the work of the Oceanographic as much as Pi did.  He is also survived by his and Sally’s children, Percy Lee, Sarah Chubb-Sauvayre, and Lucy Chubb-O'Connell, and by his grandchildren.   A memorial service is planned in May.


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