NU Online News Service, Feb. 17, 2005, 3:37 p.m. EST

A 100-year-old Midwestern life insurer is getting its new leader from a family that has been running the company for most of the past 91 years.[@@]

The board of the insurer, Kansas City Life Insurance Company, has elected R. Philip Bixby chairman.

Phil Bixby succeeds his uncle, Joseph Bixby, who served as chairman for more than 30 years and died in November 2004.

Phil Bixby, who began working for the company in 1977, previously was Kansas City Life’s president and vice chairman.

Walter “Web” Bixby, the president of Old American Insurance Company, a Kansas City Life subsidiary, will be Kansas City Life’s new vice chairman. Web Bixby began working for the company in 1982.

The late Joseph Bixby was a grandson of J.B. Reynolds, who served as president of Kansas City from 1904 to 1937. Phil Bixby and Web Bixby, who are brothers, are both great-grandsons of J.B. Reynolds.