H. J. Bremermann Jr., American General Insurance Co. executive, dies

H. J. “Jack” Bremermann Jr., former Maryland Casualty Co. president and chairman who fought in the Pacific during World War Il as a Marine Corps captain, died Nov. 23 from complications of pneumonia at the Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson.

He was 94.

“He was one tough-son-of-a-gun and a Marine by all measures,” said Edward W. Brown, a friend who resides in the Woodbrook neighborhood of Baltimore County. “He was an incredible gentleman — there was no one in the world better. Everyone who ever knew him thought he was the best they had ever known.”

“Jack was a wonderful friend, a real Renaissance man, and just a fine human being” said Charles F. Obrecht of North Roland Park. “He was a delightful human being who was always positive and upbeat. Whatever he did, he did well.”

The son of H.J. Brmermann Sr., CFO of a window and sash company, and Hilda Marie Lemarie Bremermann, a homemaker, Herbert John Bremermann Jr. was born and raised in New Orleans and graduated from the New Orleans Academy, a military school.

He attended Tulane University, and graduated there in 1944 with a bachelor’s degree. Mr. Bremermann then enlisted in the Marine Corps and served as a lieutenant with the 4th Marine Division. He fought in the battles for Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

After being discharged at war’s end, Mr. Bremermann returned to Tulane and earned a law degree, utilizing the GI Bill of Rights.

In 1949 he joined the FBI. While working as a special agent to the bureau’s Boston office, he was assigned to the Great Brinks Robbery case, in which 11 thieves stole $2.7 million from a Brinks armored car depot in Boston.

“He ended his career assigned to the House Un-American Activities Committee in Washington, and I don’t think he was particularly proud of that,” said his son, H. John Bremermann lll of Beaufort, S.C.

After leaving the FBI in 1953, he returned to New Orleans and joined the insurance firm of Black, Rogers and Co. The company served as general agent in Louisiana for Maryland Casualty Co. When Maryland established a branch office in 1956 in New Orleans, he became its manager.

In 1975, Mr. Bremermann moved to Baltimore when he was named chairman and president of the Maryland Casualty Co.

He was subsequently appointed vice chairman in 1979 of American General Corp. of Houston after its acquisition of Maryland Casualty, then moved to Nashville in 1982 as chairman and president after the company acquired National Life and Accident Insurance Co. and Life and Casualty Insurance Co. of Tennessee.

“At the time, Grand Ole Opry was owned by and a subsidiary of National Life and Accident Insurance Co. of Tennessee,” his son said. “Because he was a Southern gentleman, they figured he could divest the Grand Ole Opry, because it was no longer a core business holding, and he could do it without ruffling a whole lot of feathers.”

In 1984, Mr. Bremermann left Nashville and moved to Jacksonville, Fla., after the company acquired Gulf Life Insurance Co. Two years later he returned to Baltimore as vice chairman of American General Corp. and then retired here.

Mr. Bremermann had been a board member of American General Corp., and a director of Maryland National Corp., Third National Bank of Tennesee and Third National Corp.

The Roland Park resident, who moved to Blakehurst in 2008, had also been a board member of Goucher College, the Associated Independent Colleges of Maryland, Keswick Multi-Care Center, the United Way of Central Maryland and the Association of Indiana Colleges in Maryland.

He also had been chairman of the Baltimore Community Foundation and Tulane University’s President’s Council.

Mr. Bremermann gave up tennis in his late 60s and became an avid golfer. He was a member of the Elkridge Club and the Baltimore Country Club.

He was a Baltimore Colts and Ravens fan and enjoyed reading non-fiction, his son said.

His wife of 66 years, the former Mary Gibson Parlour, died in 2016.

At Mr. Bremermann’s request, no services are planned.

In addition to his son, Mr. Bremermann is survived by a daughter, Eve B. Collard of San Francisco; a brother, Stanley R. Bremermann of New Orleans; and a granddaughter.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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