|Audrey Susan Hanrahan
Audrey Susan Hanrahan
A Brief Biography
A few short months after her birth in Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan (June 28, ‘64), Audrey moved with her parents to St. Gallen, Switzerland, her mother’s hometown. She spent the next four years in Switzerland before moving back to the States – again to New York. However, the second sojourn in the New York area was also brief, as the family relocated to southern California in the spring of ‘69. There, in Huntington Beach, Audrey entered kindergarten. She completed 2nd grade in time to move once again, when her Dad was transferred back to Switzerland in 1972.
But California had given Audrey her introduction to horses, a passion that continued and flourished in Switzerland and, indeed, for the rest of her all-too short life. She became the proud owner of her first horse in 1979, when she persuaded her Dad to buy her an Appaloosa, Colorado Britches. From then on, while in high-school and later, college, Audrey and Britches were a fixture at hunter-jumper shows in northern Illinois and captured many prizes.
In the education field, Audrey and her sister, Jennifer, began four years of schooling in a Swiss public school in August ‘72. They adapted quickly and became quite fluent in both Swiss and High German. They also became very good skiers.
In 1976 Audrey’s Dad was transferred once more and the family moved to the Chicago area, where Audrey and her two sisters (Jennifer and Maureen) attended public school in Deerfield, IL. Audrey (and later Jennifer) had the distinction of being placed in the top 1% of 18,000 high school students in a nationwide German language examination.
Upon graduating from Deerfield High School in 1982, Audrey went off to college at U of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. With a placement on the Dean’s list, she completed her undergraduate studies in May, 1986, and received a B.A. degree. She majored in Psychology with a minor in German.
That fall, Audrey entered the U of Illinois law school, Urbana-Champaign. Three years later, again on the Dean’s list, she graduated with a doctorate in Law and was admitted to the bar in Illinois in Nov., 1989, and the following month to the federal bar.
1989 was a busy year, as that was the year Audrey also got married. The wedding took place on a beautiful October afternoon. The bride looked beautiful and very happy. As one gracious older lady put it, the reception could only be described “as a gala affair”. But the marriage, unfortunately, was a failure and Audrey felt compelled to seek a divorce, which she did in 1998.
Audrey achieved far more success in the world of business. Upon graduating from law school, Audrey joined Haskell & Perrin, a Chicago law firm, as an Associate. In 1995, she was made a Partner. There she was engaged in litigating complex insurance coverage and tort cases in state and federal courts throughout the U.S. Among notable achievements, Audrey authored winning appellate and Illinois Supreme Court briefs in Outboard Marine v Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. She was also instrumental in negotiating an $83M settlement in a complex asbestos coverage case.
In 1996, CNA, a large casualty insurance company, extended Audrey an offer to join it and manage the legal handling and resolution of large and complex claims. At CNA, she established a system for evaluating complex claims and for creating and executing strategies to diffuse exposure exceeding $5M. This contributed to the efficient resolution of many significant claims. In addition, besides negotiating large settlements, Audrey developed litigation strategies and managed in-house and outside counsel in the execution of the appropriate strategy.
In 2003, she was approached, first by Zurich Insurance and later by the Hartford, to join them and provide similar top-level expertise in the handling of major casualty claims. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Audrey had been particularly active in the Gulf region. However, in anticipation of starting her own firm, she applied for Connecticut bar membership in 2008.
Over the years, Audrey volunteered for many organizations that helped those less fortunate. She was very giving and felt deeply about giving back to the community. She believed in giving people second and even third chances. While in Chicago, Audrey held fund drives for the Bottomless Closet. This is an organization whose main focus is on assisting women get back on their feet and back to work. It takes women who have been job-trained and dresses them for economic success; it also helps them to get off and stay off welfare through job retention training and it provides them with the ability to obtain appropriate clothing for work. In short, it nurtures self-confidence in one’s appearance and allows women to focus on their jobs, improve their skill level and, eventually, advance to a higher paying position.
Audrey also understood the various obstacles and financial limits that teenage girls and younger women had in pursuing their dreams in show-jumping. Throughout the years Audrey had assisted many by purchasing them show clothes or various items of equipment. Thus, allowing them to project confidence while showing their horse.
Then it ended! Audrey was in Florida, getting ready to compete in a winter horseshow with her beloved horse, Trueman’s Affair, when her life was tragically cut short in an accident in Wellington, Palm Beach County, on Sunday, February 3rd.,’08; it happened o/a 11pm on Equestrian Club Road.
Audrey was flown by helicopter to the Delray Medical Center, where she was treated for severe head injuries, but without success. At 1:36am, Monday, February 4th, she was placed on life support until her organs could be harvested and that was done on February 5th.. This was her final wish - to help others.
Her Mom and Dad and Rich were at her side as she was wheeled away from the trauma center. Audrey looked very peaceful, almost as if she were asleep. But our angel had moved on to join our dear Lord and Savior in heaven, there to await the arrival of her loved ones and a joyous, never-ending reunion.