NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Longtime credit union leader Ruth Kelly has died at the age of 87 from stroke complications.
Kelly was instrumental in the development of the national credit union movement and was one of the founders of the Education Credit Union Council. Kelly also served as a CUNA director and a director for the Indiana Credit Union League. She became the first woman to become chairperson of the Indiana CUL.
Kelly was hired in November 1965 as a loan officer, and in 1967 she was named Notre Dame Federal Credit Union's first president/CEO. Along with a staff of about 58 employees she is credited with growing the credit union from 2,200 members and $2.2 million in assets to about 29,000 members and over $62 million in total assets by the time she retired in 1988.
Kelly also oversaw the credit union's main office move from the "Little Green Shack" on Bulla Road to a 7,000 square foot facility, which she called the "Tin Shop" in the university's warehouse complex. In 1980 the headquarters moved to its present location on Douglas Road.
In addition to being involved nationally with credit unions, Kelly never forgot her local community as she served as members of the Chamber of Commerce as well as a Board of Trustees member of Holy Cross Junior College in 1984, plus many other local groups and charity causes. She was also the first credit union woman to be asked to join the local Association of Bank Women.
"In my years as president/CEO I have had several opportunities to meet and talk with Ruth about our credit union. It was always a personal delight and some of the greatest moments I cherished in having those personal conversations," said Notre Dame FCU CEO Leo Ditchcreek.
Kelly will be buried next to husband Ed at the Cedar Grove Cemetery on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Messages of condolences can be sent to www.vetransfuneralcare.com, where Kelly is listed toward the right of the Web page.