A former director for the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, Dupree and his family have played a key role in both helping to found and build the Shiloh credit union as well as the broader CDCU movement, according to a statement by the National Federation.
"Despite its relatively small size, Shiloh of Alexandria FCU has always been an innovator within the CDCU movement, developing partnerships and collaborations with other institutions and agencies to bring their members many of the financial offerings available at mainstream financial institutions," the federation said.
Federation CEO Clifford Rosenthal remembered DuPree as a man of great conviction, courage and perseverance.
"He started Shiloh at a time when there were not very many credit unions being started at all," Rosenthal said. "Much less credit unions serving primarily lower income people."
Rosenthal remembered in particular that DuPree always had a vision for the CU that went beyond the walls of its original church sponsor and took in the whole area of people who needed its help.
Bill Donovan, a partner at Washington law firm Venable LLP and former general counsel for NAFCU, remembered DuPree as an extremely dedicated and hard-working volunteer for the credit union.
"He just had a real heart for helping people get to where they wanted to go," Donovan said. "A real heart for helping people and he kept on pushing forward to reach that goal. I know the family and the credit union will miss him very much."
John Dupree Jr., the current manager and treasurer for the CU, recalled that it was never clear how his father had gotten onto the idea of starting a credit union since neither he nor his family had any experience with CUs in the past.
Dupree Sr. had been a teacher in rural Georgia before coming to Washington to work for the Department of Education for 42 years, his son said. "He always loved his students and had a real interest in helping them out and to get ahead," Dupree Jr. said. "Some of that spirit carried on to the credit union."
Dupree Jr. gave a lot of credit for Shiloh's getting started to the help from NAFCU and Donovan and said that after all the work his father put in, things eventually just started to move.
"I remember eventually things just started to click for us, the charter coming through and then the low-income designation, and then we were underway," he said.