SAN DIEGO, Calif. (8/29/13, UPDATED 8:44 a.m. ET)--Al George, a former California Credit Union League and Credit Union National Association chairman, has passed away.
George was called "the epitome of volunteerism and leadership, but most importantly a personal friend," by Diana Dykstra, president/CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, in an announcement of his passing.
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney noted that George was "quite literally a lifetime credit union volunteer."
"He was a true friend, a great leader and mentor and will be missed by us all. He will of course live on in the spirit of the credit union movement, which he so forcefully embodied for more than 65 years," Cheney said.
George dedicated his life and career to the greater good of the credit union movement, serving on the North Island CU board here board for more than 60 years. Dykstra recalled George once said, "It's difficult for me to focus on one unique accomplishment as a volunteer. I feel every contribution is important."
George's volunteer credit union activities began in 1948 as a director of San Diego Gas & Electric CU (now Financial 21 CU) while he was a 43-year utility engineer for the company. In 1951 he became president of the board of that credit union and a director of the California Credit Union League.
"Al was league chairman in 1962 and received the Leo H. Shapiro Award in 1981, Volunteer of the Year Award, and the President's Award for his 50 years of volunteer service," Dykstra recalls.
He also served as past chair of the CUNA and was a former director of the World Council of Credit Unions. In 1953 he joined Central CU during its organization effort and continued 43 years of volunteer service there until its 1996 merger into North Island CU. He served on the Supervisory Committee after the merger, and in 1998 began serving on the board of directors, including a three-year term as board chair. He retired from his volunteer service in July after serving this industry for 65 years.
Steve O'Connell, president/CEO of North Island CU Union, said George was "a remarkable man who embodied the true spirit of 'people helping people.'"
O'Connell added, "Al started in uniform with the U.S. Marine Corps and was called into action for four years during WWII (three major campaigns and 26 months overseas). He never forgot the importance of serving those who serve our country. Al's legacy is one of love for his family, and commitment to volunteerism, credit unions, and the country."