Washington FCU Founder Grace Meighen Dies: In Memoriam
Grace F. Meighen, 94, founder, manager and board member of the $60 million Washington FCU in Washington, Pa., died on Mar. 18.
Meighen was a librarian at Chartiers-Houston High School in Houston, Pa., and was among a group of school employees who met in June 1959 to form the Washington Area Teachers Credit Union. They each contributed $5.25, and by the end of the year, the cooperative had grown to 52 members, according to the credit union’s website.
By 1969, WATFCU was serving more than 400 members and had processed more than 800 loans totaling $500,000, without a loss or write-off of any of the borrowed funds, according to the credit union.
Today, Washington Area FCU serves more than more than 4,000 members and broke ground for its second location in November that is scheduled to open this year.
“There are a lot of neat stories (about Grace) from some of the members that talked about how the credit union used to be in her house,” said Joseph S. Marzullo, president/CEO of Washington Area FCU. “Members talked about going to Grace’s house and sitting in her front room while she typed up loan documents.”
When Marzullo became the credit union’s CEO in June 2008, Grace was a board member.
“She served on the board for the better part of a year after I arrived,” said Marzullo. “She was active into her late 80s. Our condolences go out to her family and friends.”
Meighan was born Feb. 10, 1920, in East Finley, Pa., the daughter of George P. and Josephine Porter Francis. Following high school, she obtained her bachelor's degree at Bethany College and her master's degree in library science at Duquesne University.
On December 20, 1942, she married Harold W. Meighen, who died June 2, 1980.
Surviving are a son and three grandchildren.
Services will be Saturday, 12:30 p.m., at Forest Lawn Gardens Chapel in McMurray.