Frances Roderick Soderberg, a longtime member of the Massachusetts insurance industry and one of the co-founders of Soderberg Insurance Services in Lynnfield, has passed away. She was 82.
Originally from Maine, Mrs. Soderberg was born on December 2, 1935, in the town of Caribou. Growing up in what was then the potato farming capital, she once had the distinction of picking an impressive 89 barrels of potatoes in a single day.
Mrs. Soderberg, who was a graduate of the University of Maine, also was accepted to Harvard University’s Graduate School. She ultimately deferred her acceptance, however, in order to marry her high school sweetheart Douglas Soderberg in 1957.
Married for 60 years to Mr. Soderberg, Mrs. Soderberg was the mother of three children Craig, Kathryn, and Karen; and a proud grandmother to Josiah Soderberg.
From Maine to Massachusetts
In 1965, the Soderbergs moved from Maine to Massachusetts. Mr. Soderberg, who had entered the insurance industry in Maine as a life sales agent for Aetna Life & Casualty back in 1957 was transferred down to Aetna’s Boston branch. While her husband worked for Aetna, Mrs. Soderberg joined Arthur D. Little’s flavor lab in Cambridge, eventually spending a year in the company’s research and development division.
In 1968, the couple decided to open their own insurance agency, co-founding Soderberg Insurance Services in Lynnfield. While Mr. Soderberg focused on selling insurance eventually becoming a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table, Mrs. Soderberg was active in all aspects of the agency’s business and oversaw the general operations of the agency.
Over the next 50 years, the couple grew Soderberg Insurance into a top performing and well-respected local independent insurance agency, with the agency currently in the top 10 percent of independent insurance agencies in Massachusetts with respect to premium volume.
A well-known and respected member of the Lynnfield community
In addition to growing a successful agency and raising her three children, Mrs. Soderberg also was an active member of the Lynnfield community throughout her life. From participating in Lynnfield politics to being a leader in Bluebird and Campfire Girls, her commitments to Lynnfield were wide and diverse. An avid tennis player as well, she won the Lynnfield mixed doubles championship with her husband Douglas and the Ipswich Country Club championship with her daughter Kathryn.
Mrs. Soderberg’s most passionate cause, however, was as a tireless supporter of the special needs community. Instrumental in helping to raise both awareness and greater involvement of the developmentally disabled within the community, she championed the North Shore Special Needs Fundraiser for 26 consecutive years.