Longtime credit union champion Richard “Dick” Turnley Jr., former CEO of Southern Parents & Teachers Federal Credit Union, died Jan. 19 at the age of 79 after a long illness.
Turnley’s career spanned more than 50 years. In 1959, he started working at the $30 million Southern Parents and Teachers FCU in Baton Rouge, La.
For his dedication to the movement, he received the African-American Credit Union Coalition’s Pete Crear Lifetime Achievement award in 2008.
During the 1960s, Turnley was instrumental in providing technical support to Louisiana’s credit unions in parish school systems, according to the AACUC.
Turnley also served on the Louisiana Credit Union League’s board from 1993 to 2007.
Selected by the World Council of Credit Unions, Turnley provided technical assistance to the South Africa Credit Union League and the University of the Western Cape.
In April 1995, he traveled to Cape Town in the Republic of South Africa to assist the emerging credit union movement as a volunteer with the “People-to-People” program. Throughout the late 1990s, he made eight trips to the continent to serve as a training facilitator.
Turnley was a fixture in Louisiana, elected to the state's House of Representatives in 1972 and serving until 1984 when he was elected to the Senate. He was a founder of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, which formed in 1977.
During his legislative stint, Turnley fought aggressively for the passage of a Louisiana law that discourages housing discriminatory practices.
A wake is scheduled for Friday from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Hall Davis and Sons Funeral Home in Baton Rouge. The funeral service for Turnley will be held at 11 a.m. Jan. 26 at the Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge.