The sudden passing of Aubrey Temple following an accident at home has shocked the workers’ compensation community this week. Louisiana Comp Blog spoke to two top workers’ comp executives – David J. Bondy Jr., CEO of LUBA Workers’ Comp and Allen Bradley, CEO of AMERISAFE – to get their thoughts on Temple’s life and legacy.
Temple was a fixture in Louisiana’s insurance industry, but he did not start out that way. Bradley explained Temple’s blue collar background and the founding of the company that would eventually become AMERISAFE as a journey of dedication across a shifting business landscape.
“[Temple’s] father was a truck and school bus driver and Aubrey worked his way through Northwestern State University with plans to teach and coach [but eventually] left that profession to take up a career in insurance,” Bradley explained. “The agency he worked for was acquired by Millard Morris in approximately 1975. The two men formed Morris, Temple & Company and it became the engine that fueled the growth and expansion of the business that transformed into AMERISAFE. After the sale of AMERISAFE to Welsh Carson in 1997, he became the CEO of the Temple Group, which later became ICT Group and now is part of Regions Insurance Group.”
However, despite his success in working life, Temple is remembered for his steadfast companionship. Bradley explained: “Aubrey never forgot his friends from back home. He was a friend to people from all walks of life and he treated all with respect. Aubrey was my first boss at AMERISAFE in 1994. He taught me so much and I am so very thankful for everything he did for me and this company. He was always quick with a smile and an encouraging word. Almost every conversation with Aubrey ended with ‘If I can ever help you with anything, give me a call.’ And, he meant just what he said.”
Indeed, Temple’s warm professional attitude was not merely reserved for members of his own company, but for his competitors as well. “Aubrey Temple was one of those rare individuals you meet in life whose energy, zest for life, competitiveness and pursuit of excellence made everyone around him better,” said David Bondy. “I always felt flattered when Aubrey called to ask me for my opinion. It made me feel important. His passing is a profound loss to not only his family but to those who worked with him and competed against him.”
In considering his ongoing legacy, Bradley believes that Temple’s status as a “consummate salesman” will be a major part of how the community will and should remember him.
“He had a unique ability to read people and empathize with their needs and objectives,” Bradley said. “He had boundless energy, a quick analytical mind and a warm, friendly personality. [In addition to his work with LWCC] he was a confidant of Louisiana Governors, U.S. Senators and Congressmen, state legislators and a host of other governmental and business leaders in this state and elsewhere.”
Aubrey Temple’s wake will be held from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Grace Church, 1021 West First Street DeRidder, LA. The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the First Baptist Church 2030 Hwy 171 DeRidder, LA. Labby Memorial Funeral Home in DeRidder is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the name of Aubrey T. Temple, Jr. to the Baton Rouge Chapter of the or to Grace Church in DeRidder.