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Kirk Roeser's Online Memorial Photo

Memorial Curator

Memorial Biography

Kirk G. Roeser of Brookhaven split his time between two widely divergent passions, his family said -- his dedication to his work as an actuarial analyst in the reinsurance industry and his calling as an Olympic-level amateur sailor. So smitten by both, he once changed from a suit to his sailing gear while on a seaplane en route to a race. The Greensboro, N.C., native who grew up in Bellport and graduated from Bellport High School died of liver cancer Thursday at his home. He was 68. His family recalled a man who was an affable math whiz. He had graduated from Brown University in 1964 with a degree in mathematics. "If he went someplace everyone would like him," said Paige Roeser Lawrence of Jupiter, Fla., a daughter. "He could have a conversation with anybody and everybody always liked him. He was a very sociable and lovable person." Roeser was a trailblazer, too. He was chairman and co-founder of Gill and Roeser, and considered a pioneer in the application of actuarial analysis to the reinsurance industry. He began his career as an actuarial trainee at Mutual of New York, where he attained a fellowship in the Society of Actuaries. In 1975, he formed MONY Re, a property and casualty reinsurer. From there, he became a senior manager for the American operations ofSwiss Reinsurance. He had served in the National Guard for five years and reached the rank of second lieutenant, his unit being dispatched to help keep the peace during the postal worker strike of 1970. But he also distinguished himself in his spare time, becoming one of the few pure amateur sailors who competed well in Olympic trials. He had started as a high school sailing instructor and successful competitor in the Blue Jay and Raven classes in the Great South Bay. By the early 1970s, he and his lifelong friend and sailing partner Tom Binnington of Bellport were competing nationally. A high point for the duo came when they came in third in one of two Olympic trials for which they qualified. They had also competed in two world and four national championships. He retired from racing in the early 1990s and sailed the Great South Bay and the New England coast with friends and family in his sailboat, Galliot. He was a long time member of the New York Yacht Club and the Bellport Bay Yacht Club. In addition to his daughter, Paige Roeser Lawrence, Kirk Roeser is survived by his longtime companion, Sylvia Kouchinsky of Brookhaven Hamlet; another daughter, Katy Roeser of Wading River; a son, Jamie of Wading River; two sisters, Karen Streit of Patchogue and Alison Roeser of Markham, Va.; two of Kouchinsky's daughters, Carol and Mariana, both of Brookhaven Hamlet; and two grandchildren, Chase and Ethan Lawrence of Jupiter, Fla. He was cremated and relatives held a private reception in his honor Saturday. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in his honor to Brookhaven Hospice, 105 W. Main St.,Patchogue, NY 11772.