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Alfred "Al" Granum

Obituary for Alfred "Al" Granum

January 2, 2014

"A Touch of the Master's Hand"


O. Alfred "Al" Granum

We celebrate the life of Al Granum...

Thoughtful and loving husband of Noreen for a glorious 21 years. Dedicated father of Gail, Sherry (Julian) Lewis, Lani Jean (Bob) Feldman, Allan, and Kelly Lindberg. Gracious and caring grandfather of eleven. Dear brother of Polly (Bud) Erion and the late Robert (Jackie) Granum and uncle of many wonderful nieces and nephews. Al loved his family, cared deeply for them, and wanted the very best of life and happiness for each of them. He was also extremely grateful for the care provided by his dedicated caregiver Evelyn Tisdal.

Servant leader…

Whether in his community, industry or country, Al was steadfast in his belief in service and had an insatiable passion for lifelong learning. In 1943, Al completed a thesis, called "Insurance and Law," which earned him a dual bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Wisconsin where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Upon graduation, Al spent three years proudly serving our country in the U.S. Navy assigned to the battleship Nevada, seeing nearly all of the ship's combat action before he was discharged in 1946. Thereafter, Al joined his father's casualty agency in Amery, WI and contracted with the Northwestern Mutual as a life insurance agent. His discipline and work ethic created early success and within eight years he was inducted as a life member of the Million Dollar Roundtable. Although he worked briefly at the Northwestern Mutual home office, his passion for service drew him back into the field, where he spent more than two decades as managing partner in Chicago. Al built one of the most successful agencies in the world. His office broke numerous company records for volume of business and was ranked "Number One" among Northwestern Mutual offices for 18 years.

A legend in the financial security profession, Al's career ultimately spanned seven decades and had global impact. He made tremendous gains and innovations that continue to shape the profession today. His many teachings, most notably the One Card System, have led to the success of tens of thousands of financial representatives.

Upon retirement, many industry and trade organizations honored and recognized Al for his lifetime of achievement. Of particular note, in 2001, Al's peers honored him by establishing an endowed chair at the American College – The O. Alfred Granum Chair in Practice Management – making him one of seven to be recognized in such a way in the College's history. In 2002, NAIFA presented him with the John Newton Russell Award for outstanding service to the institution of life insurance. In 2003, Al received the American College's highest honor, the Huebner Gold Medal. And In 2011, Northwestern Mutual and the American College created the Northwestern Mutual Granum Center for Financial Security, which honors his legacy and achievement and advocates to continue to grow and strengthen the financial security profession.

Al's legacy is one of unwavering belief in the importance of the work of financial professionals, of uncompromising commitment to always doing the right thing for the client, and of unquestionable generosity to share everything he learned for the benefit of the industry. Please visit the Granum Center to read more about Al's legacy and industry contributions at

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Al Granum was a treasure to all who knew him. He found the "positives" in everyone and made sure they knew their strengths. He was a true servant leader who deeply valued relationships. His generosity and grace were beyond measure. He will be greatly missed.

Funeral service will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2014. Family and friends are to gather directly at Christ Church of Oak Brook, 501 Oak Brook Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523. The funeral service will be celebrated promptly at 11:00 am. Interment will be private. Visitation Friday, January 10, 2014 from 3 -9 pm at Russo's Hillside Chapels 4500 Roosevelt Road, Hillside IL 60162 (between Mannheim and Wolf Road). For additional information (708) 449-5300. Please visit Al's personal tribute website at and sign the guest book. Memorial contributions may be made to The American College Northwestern Mutual Granum Center for Financial Security or the Wounded Warriors Project.



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Russo's Hillside Chapels

4500 Roosevelt Road
Hillside, IL 60162
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