A.T. Pancrazi Insurance Company History



Wedding of A.T. Pancrazi and Catherine Balsz in 1902.

A.T. Pancrazi in the late 1800's during his bicycle business venture.

A.T. Pancrazi with sons left to right Robert 'Bob', Ernest, and John

Robert 'Bob' Pancrazi

Ernest 'Ernie' and Pierrette Pancrazi with goddaughter, Andrea Brehe

Ernest 'Ernie' Pancrazi and Robert 'Bob' Pancrazi

"If you didn't learn something new today, you didn't do anything," - A.T. Pancrazi

When Ange Toussaint (A.T.) Pancrazi at the age of 47 received his insurance and real estate broker licenses in November 1922, he probably wasn’t thinking about how his company would be doing 90 years later. From its humble beginning in 1923, his insurance and real estate business continues to thrive today under the hands of his grandsons. One of the main reasons for its continued success is because of the core values he instilled into his children and subsequently into his grandchildren.  These values helped to lay a solid foundation for the next generations to build from.

A.T. Pancrazi was born in 1874 in a small town called Farinole on the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea.  In 1889, at the age of 14, he immigrated by himself to the United States to avoid conscription (three of his older brothers had already been drafted into the French Army). This took great courage (core value) on his part, at such a young age, to leave his home and family and start anew.

A Resolution to Succeed
He made his way to Yuma Arizona, a territory at the time, and met up with his uncle Althee Modesti. Modesti was a local merchant who also owned the Agua Caliente Hotel and Spa, famous in its day for the restorative nature of its hot springs. A.T. worked several years for his uncle, all the while learning about himself, business and his surroundings. This period of awareness (core value) helped him to coin the phase “if you didn’t learn something new today you didn’t do anything”. 

Around 1897, A.T. left his uncle’s employment and ventured to open a bicycle business.  Unfortunately, about a year later, his dreams of owning a successful bicycle business came to an end.  He then began working for the Southern Pacific Railroad as a car sealer.  In 1902, A.T. married Catherine Balsz, granddaughter of early Yuma pioneer Jose Maria Redondo.  Together they had five children, Mary Estelle, Josephine, John and twins Ernest (Ernie) and Robert (Bob)

In 1921, A.T. became a Yuma postmaster.  However, his dreams of owning his own business were still on the back of his mind. Through perseverance (core value) he set out again at starting his own insurance and real estate business. This time he found success because through authenticity (core value) he remained true to his self-belief and through integrity (core value) he conducted his business in an honest and ethical manner. He simply treated people the way he wanted to be treated.

Celebrating a New Generation
Bob Pancrazi returned to Yuma after serving in the Merchant Marines during World War II and joined his father’s business in 1947 when A.T. became ill.  Bringing with him a sense of youthful enthusiasm (core value), Bob set out to build on the business and the values, which his father started. With A.T. passing within in a short time of joining his father’s business, Bob had to take on a new sense of focus (core value) in order to help support his mother.

Ernie Pancrazi attended the University of Arizona on the GI bill after serving in the Army Air Corp during World War II and then worked for First National Bank before joining his brother, Bob, in the business in 1959. 

Focus on Value
Over the next decade, Bob and Ernie discovered a great sense of purpose (core value) and meaning in their work.  Improving on their skills they became positive contributors to the Yuma community.

In 1971, they merged with the Lawler & Kehl Agency, Inc. to become A.T. Pancrazi Agency, Inc. Bill Sexton, a principal with Lawler and Kehl joined the company and with their commitment to service (core value) they continued to find success.

Present and Future
The following two decades saw the arrival of several of A.T. Pancrazi’s grandsons into the business. Doug, Mark and Tom Pancrazi, Bob’s sons, as well as Peter and Andy Pancrazi, Ernie’s sons, joined the company.  With the third generation’s arrival, a commitment to leadership (core value) emerged, solving problems and creating new opportunities.