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Sentry Insurance Chairman Dies In Hospital At Age Of 67

November 19, 1985

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (AP) _ John Joanis, who built a small insurance company into the Sentry Insurance conglomerate and was chairman of its board, has died at the age of 67.

He died Monday at St. Joseph’s Hospital, which did not disclose the cause of death.

Joanis was admitted to St. Michael’s Hospital in Stevens Point, home of Sentry’s headquarters, on Oct. 29, saying he was experiencing discomfort in his lungs. He was transferred Nov. 3 to St. Joseph’s, where he had undergone heart surgery two years ago.

Joanis joined Sentry, which was then known as Hardware Mutuals, as a staff attorney in 1947. He became a vice president and general counsel in 1956, executive vice president in 1962, and president and chief executive officer in 1966. In 1972 he was named chairman and chief executive officer.

″John had taken a small financially depressed Hardware Mutuals to an international insurance and industrial conglomerate,″ said Larry C. Ballard, who recently became chief executive officer when Joanis relinquished the title.

Sentry has 90 subsidiary companies in such areas as cable television, radio stations, computer software services, oil and gas exploration, window and door manufacturing and commuter airlines.

A funeral was scheduled for Thursday.