Los Angeles lawyer Joseph Melchione, a longtime credit union attorney, advocate, speaker and educator, passed away on Tuesday from lung cancer.
Melchione joined Styskal Wiese & Melchione LLP in 1974 and was the driving force behind building it into the first law firm in the country to specialize in serving the credit union industry. From a handful of clients in its early years, the firm to serve more than 350 credit unions nationwide.
“We have lost a friend, a mentor and a great visionary,” said Bruce Pearson, a partner at Styskal Wiese. “Joe’s unfailing belief in the core values and principles of the cooperative model and its place as an essential consumer service has left a long legacy spanning hundreds of clients and helping shape the industry today.”
Melchione was instrumental in the development of wide-ranging credit union legislation and regulations for more than three decades and was one of the industry’s most recognized and requested speakers. He also served as a faculty member of Western CUNA Management School for over 25 years.
“As one of Western CUNA Management School’s most popular faculty members for over two decades, Joe made a lasting impact on hundreds of credit union leaders,” said James Likens, president/CEO of Western CUNA Management School. “He brought not only his extensive knowledge and infectious enthusiasm to our program, but also a wonderful sense of fun.”
Robert Fenner, retired general counsel for the NCUA, said, “I had the great fortune to know Joe for more than 30 years as a friend and colleague .Beyond having an extraordinary legal mind and unequalled commitment to his clients, it was his dedication and enduring belief in the importance and future of credit unions large and small that made him such a vibrant part of our community.”
Melchione is survived by his mother, June Ray, and siblings, Joni Alvarado, John Melchione, June Marie Melchione and Jill Spinelli, along with his nieces Sophia Alvarado and Jenna Spinelli. Funeral arrangements have not been finalized and will be posted at www.law4cus.com as service details are completed.