About Lincoln Heritage’s Founders
Jack Winston Londen
Jack Winston Londen will be remembered for his energy in business, his passions for politics, faith and philanthropy, as well as his steadfast friendship to so many.
“He was a hard-nosed businessman and a soft-hearted friend,” remembers Larry Hostetler, founding minister of Chaparral Christian Church, whom Jack recruited in 1969 to come to Arizona as youth minister of First Christian Church. “He was more excited about leading someone to Christ than about making a business deal. And he was very excited about making deals.”
A Born Salesman
In every realm, Jack Londen was a natural salesman. As a young boy during the Great Depression, he sold homegrown raspberries and blackberries from door to door in Boulder, Colorado. By the time he was in high school, he had saved enough money for the down payment on a Texaco station in Boulder, that he owned for several years — selling more than his share of tires and batteries.
While in college at the University of Colorado, he began to sell life insurance, becoming so successful that he convinced himself he didn’t need the college degree. And indeed, he was that entrepreneur who never applied for another job. After moving to Arizona in July 1962 with his wife, Doris “Dodie” Londen, and four small sons, Jack founded Arizona Trust Life Insurance Company in 1963. For the first full year of the funeral insurance company’s business, Jack was the only salesman and Dodie was the home office staff.
The Next Generation
Son Tom joined the company as a salesman in the 1970s, rising to become president at age 28 while his father remained chairman until his passing. Jack bought and consolidated over 25 other insurance companies over the years. His group of companies now includes Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company, Londen Land Company and Londen Media Group, which includes AZ-TV among its stations.
Today, Lincoln Heritage is the nation’s leading provider of final expense insurance, operating in 49 states with a home office staff of more than 400 and thousands of agents around the country. “Every time I thought I knew everything about Jack, he’d come up with something I had never seen before,” says Larry Schuneman, former president of Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company. “He was a master salesman. And he was like a second father to me.”
Thomas Allen Londen
Tom Londen began selling burial insurance just like his father, Jack Londen, by going door-to-door for his family’s insurance company when he was just a sophomore in college. When Tom was 28 years old, he became president of Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company. Under Tom’s leadership, Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company became the nation’s leading provider of final expense insurance. Tom Londen was the definition of a hard working leader. He will be remembered for many reasons, but those that stand out the most may be his kindness, his ability to see and work through any conflict, his tireless work ethic and his unwavering good spirit.
While most of Tom’s time was devoted to his work, he was also a very active philanthropist who provided several years of service to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Most of Tom’s philanthropic efforts were anonymous, meeting the needs of those who required help in a private manner. Tom funded several four-year scholarships to the Notre Dame Preparatory School in Scottsdale to provide an excellent education to underprivileged children.
Tom will also be remembered for his quick wit and constant humor. Whether that humor was expressed by giving multiple nicknames to each of his children, or when dealing with individuals in the business world, Tom knew how to lighten any situation and put a room at ease with his charisma.
Tom had fallen ill and been diagnosed with cancer just a year before he passed away and while everyone was aware of his illness, the loss of a great leader is one that you can never fully be prepared for. Tom Londen had a way of preparing for the future even if you didn’t realize he was doing so. Part of what made Tom such a great leader was the team that he had set in place for when he would no longer be with us. Tom built on the legacy that Jack Londen had established when he founded the company in 1963. Tom’s vision has taken the company to heights no one ever deemed imaginable. Filling the void of a great leader is never easy, but with his thoughtful and strategic planning, we are all reassured knowing that Tom’s vision will continue to be carried out.